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Rushford City Council Report: Airport agreements approved

Fri, Jul 13th, 2007
Posted in Government

The Rushford City Council moved ahead with airport improvements as they approved agreements with consulting firm Mead and Hunt, Inc. at their regular meeting July 9. The council had been hesitant to sign agreements without reassurance from the FAA regarding reimbursement. Since the Rushford airport application was approved at the eleventh hour, a standard tentative allocation letter had not been received by the city. DOT's Harris Baker informed the council via an email to Windy Block that there were no commitments until there was an executed grant agreement. This agreement would come after the city had gotten the bids, which couldn't be obtained without signing the consultant agreement. Baker called it a "very small risk" and told the city the state would help out with funding if the FAA didn't come through (at a 70/30 rate).

The council opted to sign the agreement for task order #1; this will enable Mead and Hunt to get bids for the proposed seal coating and airfield signage improvements, at an estimated $19,924. The bids will be opened by around July 30; the FAA needs to be notified of the winning bid before August 1. City attorney Terry Chiglo, calling the situation a catch 22, had advised the council they would not be able to access the grant unless they signed the agreement.

The council also passed the agreement on task order #2; this order was for the updating of the airport layout plan (ALP) at the cost of approximately $34,854. Mead and Hunt will do this work itself; the same company had done the first ALP in 2001. This agreement will not actually be acted upon until the city knows for sure if they have received the FAA funding.

Finally, the council perused the applications for the open seat on the airport commission and, with a ballot vote, chose Richard Holle as the new member. They thanked other applicants and encouraged them to apply for future openings.

Police protection


Current city resident Jim Roberton visited the meeting to ask for clarification on the police protection in the City of Rushford Village in the past. Roberton has recently purchased a home in the CRV and visited a CRV meeting as well. He asked what the village got for the $1,000 in the past years. Mayor Les Ladewig answered that they had gotten the same protection as Rushford residents. Ladewig said the city police had served as an extension of the sheriff's department and had patrolled major businesses in CRV. Roberton asked what motivated the council to negate the previous contract. Ladewig replied, "Equity of cost-any other municipalities or urban areas in Fillmore County contract at (a rate of) about $50 per hour. It's an issue of fairness."

Roberton asked about the number of calls to CRV in the past four years. The police activity report, routinely distributed to the council, showed no non-resident calls during that time. City clerk Kathy Zacher informed Roberton the data had not been separated out while the contract was in place; it wasn't pertinent to do so. Ladewig suggested checking with the sheriff's department for more information.

Other business

In other business the council:

• acknowledged with "great appreciation" the generous $350 Riverside donation for the use of Creekside Park facilities (the money has been designated to a future improvement fund for the park;

• passed a resolution encouraging Winona Health to continue to keep at least one physician in Rushford after October when Dr. Breitenbach leaves the clinic;

• noted the Rushford sign on Highway 43 will be landscaped and improved after right-of-way requirement questions are answered;

• opted to pay the $561 yearly lease for the parking lot near the Creamery/Nordic Lanes, but then to negotiate with the DOT for future years after the city attorney has a chance to examine the original contract;

• learned the Minnesota Historical Society had concerns about the possibility of "valuable historical artifacts" in the area of the proposed water treatment plant-city administrator Windy Block assured the council this must be a mistake since the area had recently been disturbed for the construction of well no. 4.

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