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No deer hunting in city of Rushford, yet

Fri, Nov 14th, 2008
Posted in Government


Your garden can't live with 'em, and you can't shoot 'em out of season. Or within city limits. Yet.

Not only are deer a nuisance in the city of Rushford, but according to councilman Robert Dahl, there are statistics to show that too many deer per acre, as is likely the case in Rushford, risk starvation and disease.

Dahl had led a request at a previous city council meeting to have city staff report on the possibility of an archery harvest for deer within Rushford city limits, as has been done in other cities around the state.

Administrator Windy Block reported at last Monday's meeting that cities like Vadnais Heights and Sandstone have conducted deer harvests within city limits, although both cities appeared to have a large unpopulated open area within city limits where the deer could be hunted.

City staff looked into the merits of guns v. archery, restricted v. open areas, and open registration v. restricted lottery.

But Rushford archers shouldn't get too excited yet. There was some reluctance expressed by council members, primarily Laura Deering.

Deering had done her research, too, and said there's really no proof that such a harvest would really thin the local herd. City ordinances would have to be changed, and Deering was uncomfortable with that, plus she wondered whether there'd be any way to determine whether those granted permits had the skills to assure accuracy.

The safety of citizens was also a major concern to Deering, who is a biker and hiker of local trails.

"Do we really want to take that risk?" she asked. Deering said she considers the presence of deer to be an inevitable part of living near the woods, and she therefore fences her garden.

Others on the council seemed a bit reluctant, too, and finally directed staff to check with the DNR as to whether they could provide any assistance, and whether there was proof that such a herd thinning program would work.


The August '07 flood left weaknesses in the city's already aging infrastructure, some known and many yet to be discovered.

For that purpose, Block presented a far-reaching proposal for the preparation of a "City of Rushford Street and Utility Improvement Program" put together by BDM Engineering and Otomo Engineering Services with the aid of public works director Jeff Copley.

The proposal includes preparing plans to improve streets, sewer and watermains, electric system and water waste treatment plant. Much of the work would involve reviewing tapes of water and sewer pipes to pinpoint weaknesses and blockages.

Block says he doesn't want to see a situation down the road where "homeowners are paying for damage from back-ups."

The plan would prioritize and plan for repair work to take place over approximately the next 4-5 years, according to Block.

A comprehensive plan would prevent the city from simply being reactive as different parts of the city need repair, Block said. The plan will also find the most cost-effective way to proceed, looking at the big picture.

Block reminded the group that while FEMA funds are likely available to help fix problems, FEMA will not pay to help "find" the problems-which is the point of this plan.

Council approved the development of the plan.


The fate of the Nordby Jewelry store, damaged in the flood, has been up in the air but may finally be settled. Owner Wendell Nordby applied for and received one of the flood recovery business loans, but then asked to have the loan transferred to Pat and Judy Christian for an addition to their business next door.

The Christians have since changed their minds, so the loan went back to Nordby.

Now the EDA has approved a request from businessman Tom Witt to take over the loan along with his purchase of the building to develop into his own project. The council agreed and approved the transfer.

Block informed council that, following much debate in the community about the building of a new community center, the EDA has appointed a 3-person committee to study the issue of whether the community wants a community center, and what the size should be.

New Liquor Store

After a few setbacks in construction, including foreman illness, the new municipal liquor store may be open November 17 for off-sale and November 20 for on-sale, according to Block.

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