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Rushford Village weeds out issue; looks ahead


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jul 18th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Government

Following the Tuesday, July 15 council meeting, the City of Rushford Village has taken decisive action against the flourishing thistle population within its borders. According the Mayor Gordon Johnson, a specific complaint regarding a property was brought to the attention of the City of Rushford, which in turn notified the City of Rushford Village. The complaint is in regards to rampant thistle growth on agricultural pasture within the Village limits. According to Councilor Hamilton Peterson, the property is roughly 25-30 acres.

Rushford Village ordinances state that, “Rules and regulations shall be in effect for all property in or adjacent to the Rushford Village Residential areas… The council may, upon receiving a complaint(s), or other notification that grasses and/or weeds on a particular property are not being maintained at the maximum height or less, instruct the clerk to issue a notice to the owner of record, ordering the mowing of said property to comply with this Ordinance within a period of ten days of the mailing date of said notice.”

“The Council may, upon failure of the owner of record to comply with the Notice Ordering Mowing, order the mowing of said owner’s property and bill said owner for the cost of mowing and the costs of the notice and billing. If the owner fails to pay the costs billed, said costs shall be collected according to the terms and conditions of the Rushford Village Collection Ordinance.”

“Agricultural crops shall be exempt and the control of noxious weeds is regulated by Fillmore County Ordinance.”

“We need to address the issue,” noted Mayor Johnson, “But keep in mind, there might be a lot that need notification. It’s gotten out of control.”

A letter was mailed to the property owner July 16. They have until July 26 to comply.

In other news, Zoning Administrator Jon Petit attended a FEMA meeting regarding flood mitigation and community planning. Discussed were established Village problems and pre-disaster planning, including improving comprehensive plans, water runoff in watershed areas, and farming practices along rivers. According to Petit, some mitigation assistance may be available to the city for projects associated with flood prevention. A proposed FEMA flood plain map is due this year. The city will continue to work towards prevention methods.

Also looking to the future, the city has entered into a Municipal Advisory Contract with Mike Bubany, of David Drown Associates, for any potential future projects. “We would need to have contract or agreement for his work to correlate to projects, addition to what’s already in place,” noted Mayor Johnson. “This is for individual projects. It keeps us one step ahead of things for new development or industry and will give us time to facilitate if there’s an agreement in place to allow work to be done on various projects.”

The city also reviewed quotes on replacement of its seven-year old Freightliner truck. Typically trucks are on a 10-12 year rotation, and equipment as needed. Quotes ranged from $92,601 to $109,500. Prices additionally lowered approximately $40,000 with truck and equipment trade in.

“Is it justifiable to spend the money to replace something that is that old? Are we in a position now that we’re a little premature, ‘cause it’s only seven years old or is it really time in your opinion?” asked Mayor Johnson of Public Works/Maintenance Director Bob Thieret.

Thieret noted that the value of the trade-in would go down substantially in next two years. “The truck would serve another 2-3 years, but in 2-3 years, we’ll only get so much for it,” he added. Equipment purchases for the current truck near $60,000 and the equipment is far more valuable than worth of the truck in trade-in. The equipment could be used on a new truck, but if the equipment is taken off the trade-in value on the quotes, the city would get just $10,000 in trade-in value.

New councilor Chad Rasmussen noted that state trucks are typically on a 20-year rotation. The council voted to reject all bids at this time.

Rather than adjournment, the meeting will be continued July 29. The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Tuesday, August 5, at 7 p.m., at city hall. The public is encouraged to attend.

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