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Rushford City Council Report: Council approves new flood relief plan

Fri, Oct 26th, 2007
Posted in Government

The Rushford City Council wasted no time in approving a new flood relief application to DEED (Department of Employment and Economic Development) that they hope represents a reversal in fortune for the ailing city at the October 22 meeting.

In what amounts to an emotional rollercoaster ride for people who already have a city-size case of emotional exhaustion, DEED backed down from its position that businesses would have numerous hoops through which to jump, for the slim chance of getting a maximum of 75-25 grants to loans, and agreed to release its stronghold and allow the 90-10 formula that the local EDA asked for in the first place. (see accompanying article about EDA for specifics on new flood relief guidelines)

The decision came after a state senate hearing the previous week, attended by local city government and business people who served as witnesses, in which DEED was questioned as to whether it was following the intent of the flood relief legislation.

The reversal by DEED is seen as a victory for the local business community, but there's been no public gloating as weary citizens just hope the rollercoaster ride has come to an end.

Consultant Chuck Pettipeace repeated the word "flexibility" in his explanation of the new proposal.

Council member Laura Deering faced the spectators and said, "Well, I'll ask again. Can the business community live with this?"

After a pause, a member of the EDA said they'd taken a straw poll of businesses and "there were no objections."

Other Business

In other business, the council:

• gave City Administrator Windy Block the "go-ahead" to begin arranging for a Comprehensive Plan for the city. Block will consult with Yaggy, Colby and Associates who prepared the city's last comprehensive plan in 1994. Block reminded the group that Tim Penney of SMIF has offered to work on city planning with Rushford for no fee. Both the city and Rushford Village have indicated interest in working with Penney to see how the two entities could work together better in the future.

• gave their permission to the Rushford Community Foundation to apply for a grant that would subsidize the hiring of a city planner during the flood recovery process.

• granted permission to liquor store manager Diane Jonsgaard to set up a temporary off-sale liquor store in the former Hairworks salon, in the Mill Street mall.

• tabled a decision regarding whether the municipal liquor store would continue with both off and on sale business. The group is waiting for a final report from liquor store consultants at Dakota Worldwide as to the feasibility of various plans.

• approved three individual zoning requests, including one from Rich and Krist Hall to operate a bed & breakfast at their residence, 200 East Jessie Street.

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