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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
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Rushford Village seeks tighter definitions on ordinances


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jul 19th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Village Government

By Kirsten Zoellner

Dealing with several issues, ranging from dogs to grass complaints, parking and fencing discrepancies, the City of Rushford Village is looking to review and further define several of its ordinances. Zoning Administrator Jon Petit noted that the zoning board wants council to be able to address issues directly and swiftly.

“These all came about because of a complaint here and there,” added Councilor Gordon Johnson, standing in as mayor in Dale Schwanke’s absence. “As attorney Manion has mentioned, some of these are not specific enough.”

In regards to the process of dealing with a complaint for most of these ordinance issues, Petit noted that a notification is sent to the ordinance violator with a period of time, typically 10 days, to remedy the situation. By the time something is actually done about the issue, between all the paperwork and time, several weeks can have passed.

Manion suggested the zoning board and council make a list of shortcomings in ordinances. In the meantime, he indicated he would look at model ordinances through the League of Minnesota Cities. “Perhaps there will be some guidance for setting up compliance and due process,” he noted.

In other news, the city cleared up some details of its contract with Harters Service, of LaCrosse, Wis. A discrepancy over billing for the spring and fall city-wide cleanup collection had raised some further questions of billing from Harters. According to company representative Matt Harter, the invoice has been adjusted to reflect the supplemental collection contract specifications.

“We’re just looking for clarification. There have been no concerns over bad service and the issues have all been addressed,” said Johnson.

Billing in general, as well as pickup issues, all seem to have been remedied by the service. The five-year contract between Harters and the City of Rushford Village is set to expire April 30 of 2014. Harters has provided notice that the city may put collection up for bid earlier than the expiration, if they desire to do so.

“Through communication, things get worked out,” noted Harter. “We appreciate your business and partnership.”

Further road issues also were discussed, including Magelssen Drive, Cooperative Way, and potential blacktopping of several Village roads.

In regards to Magelssen Drive, Johnson noted that Mayor Schwanke took comments recently made at the Rushford Council meeting, over the road condition, directly. “What we got is that the City of Rushford Village is making it worse, not better,” said Johnson. The two cities have an agreement for road maintenance in which the city of Rushford provides the rock and the Village takes care of grading work. “I’ve talked with Bob [Thieret], and we can’t grade it with no gravel on it.”

“The city has to provide gravel if they want him to grade it,” added City Treasurer Judy Graham. “You can’t put a crown on it with no gravel.”

The city has looked into putting an overlay on the road. The cost is estimated at $5,746. Pending further developments, the issue was tabled until the next meeting. A public hearing over road issues is scheduled for Tuesday, August 6, at 7pm.

Several other minor topics were discussed. The city will look into hiring some part-time help for Public Works/Maintanence Director Bob Thieret. The details of Thieret’s request have yet to be determined, but with three weeks until the next council meeting, the council approved having Mayor Dale Schwanke and Thieret have an opportunity to determine the number of hours requested and the maximum amount of funding available for a part-time position. All were agreeable to getting assistance for Thieret.

The city has purchased a John Deere, 60 inch deck, riding lawnmower for $4,300. It has been suggested that the city purchase a trailer as well. A maximum of $7,500 was allowed for the mower and councilor Johnson noted that after getting some preliminary pricing, the city can purchase an 83 inch, tandem axel, 16-18 foot trailer for $2,850, making the total still under the allowed amount. The council approved the purchase unanimously.

Quotes for a rectangular pad parking area for the Root River Bike Trail, near Tri-County Electric headquarters, will be sought. Councilor Dennis Overland supplied the council will the specific options for the parking area, including number of parking stalls and total square footage. The parking pad will have a six-foot crushed rock base, with reinforced concrete. The city is looking to spend under $5,000.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Tuesday, August 6, at 7pm, at city hall. The public is encouraged to attend.

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