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Rushford preps for Highway 43 project, deals with illegal dumping


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jun 13th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

Indications of the impending road project are starting to become noticeable and the city is making strides to make sure that local traffic and visitors know that the city businesses are open. Large construction signs bearing “Road Closed” warnings have been placed throughout the city along the Highway 43 corridor. Additional signage noting “local businesses are open” will appear with the construction signs. Meanwhile, the city is busy working a marketing campaign to keep the strong economic community moving.

While truck traffic will be rerouted around the city via I-90 and Highway 76 and 16 to the city’s south side, local traffic visitors will be able to utilize a detour along the city’s east side. Prior and during the project, the city will be utilizing a Marketing/Communications Plan to keep area residents informed of updates, business promotions, and other related issues.

“We’re all going to get through this,” noted City Administrator Steve Sarvi. “Little hiccups will happen. We’ll deal with them as they come.”

The city is expected to sign the contract this week. A pre-construction meeting will likely be held the following week where issues such as mail delivery and garbage pickup will be ironed out.

Illegal dumping in the city’s compost area has led to its temporary closure by the city. Multiple warnings went out to residents details what could and couldn’t be left at the site. After a recent spell where trash and construction materials were left for the city to remove, the city issued a public announcement for the site closure until further notice. “The straw that broke the camel’s back was a large doghouse filled with shingles,” noted Sarvi, expressing frustration, especially following a city-wide large garbage clean-up. “There are multiple ways for people to do the right thing.”

Any time non-approved items are left at the site, the city could face non-compliance repercussions from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The council heard various suggestions on preventing such issues in the future. They included hiring someone to supervise the site, utilizing trail-type cameras, and opening the site again after a period of time. For now, residents wanting to use the site for approved items can borrow keys for the lock from city hall.

Also discussed at the June 9 meeting was the use of Veteran’s Memorial Park as the site of a donated gazebo, which would serve much as the original site bandstand did. The local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts expressed to the council their desire to have their voice heard regarding any plans for the park. “We do a lot for this community and we believe we have a bit of a say here,” said Todd James. “Veterans park was set aside by the city for veterans.”

Mayor Chris Hallum noted that the city wouldn’t proceed with anything without discussions with the two entities.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Monday, June 23, at 6:30 p.m., at city hall. The public is encouraged to attend.

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