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Design Team to help Rushford plan

Fri, Apr 4th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Susan Hart, co-chair of the Rushford Steering Committee, addressed the County Board at their April 1 meeting. Hart asked commissioners to come to Rushford during the visit of the Minnesota Design Team (MDT) from April 24 through the 26 to help plan for the future of the watershed area. The MDT define themselves as "a volunteer group of architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners and other experts in design and community development." They have been helping communities with community based planning since 1983.

Hart said that the group of 18 professionals including landscapers, city planners and hydrologists are going listen to community ideas, values and vision through a presentation on the 25th. Then on Saturday the 26th, the group of professional will incorporate what they have learned from the community to give ideas back to the community so that they can be implemented. Hart hoped that the county commissioners could be present when the professionals make this presentation. The group will be making use of two studies one for housing and one by the corps of engineers. The DNR and the corps of engineers are checking and measuring the dikes and bridges to determine the size of the dikes needed which could impact housing plans.


Highway Engineer John Grindeland requested and received approval to purchase a 1998 Diesel Freightliner with a 42 foot boom for $28,847.65. The existing county boom truck is a 1986 model in need of engine repair with a boom that may not be able to get certification. The used boom truck to be purchased will already be certified. The boom is used for roof work and tree trimming. The quote is the lower of two used vehicle quotes.

The board approved the lower of two quotes for a new 2008 service pickup. A Ford F 250 purchase was approved at the state contract price of $23,416.97. Approval was also granted for equipment to be added to the truck for a total of $4,573.10.

This pickup and the last several purchased by the county have been E-85 compatible. Chairman Randy Dahl asked that the highway department start using E-85 soon. A discussion followed as to the feasibility of using the ethanol fuel in the near future. Commissioners Duane Bakke and Chuck Amunrud agreed that the reason for buying the E-85 compatible trucks is to have them in the fleet so that the county may work toward the use of the fuel which is not available everywhere at this time. Amunrud said that the county would need to buy a storage tank. Commissioner Marc Prestby suggested that the issue go back to the Highway Committee. He related stories that he had heard of power loss when using the ethanol fuel. Also, it would not be economical for a pickup to be driven to Preston from an area like Peterson to fill up with ethanol.

Other Business

• Social Service Director Thomas Boyd discussed funding sources as printed in the Minnesota Department of Human Services Bulletin to assist county agencies in preparing their budgets. He noted that the biggest increase is in Medical Assistance with a projected increase of 5%. Boyd maintained that cost shifts to the county from the state and federal portions increase property taxes.

April is Child Protection month. Fillmore County screens about 254 cases per year and has followed up on about 230 cases requiring home visits.

• Deborah Teske, Emergency Management, asked for and received approval for new language additions to the Mutual Aid Agreement for Southeast Region Counties including 16 counties. The agreement is for counties to share personnel and equipment in emergencies or disasters. The list originally included the normal first responders. The new language expands an existing agreement to add Public Health, Mental Health, Administrative, Communication, and HAZMAT personnel and equipment sharing.

• The board approved a "Dike Easement" with the city of Peterson. When the county bought some land from Peterson, it bought a portion of the dike according to a recent survey. The board approved the agreement which gives a perpetual easement of the .37 acres to the city. The city maintains the dike. The county has no liability in regard to the dike.

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