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Rushford City Council Report: Highums to donate land in honor of Asmund Vaagen

Fri, Mar 30th, 2007
Posted in Government

The Rushford City Council accepted the gift of property on Magelssen Bluff from Glen and Rob Highum at their regular council meeting March 26. Jamie Edwards of the DNR facilitated the donation. Acceptance of the donation is subject to all deeds and ownership being satisfied; taxes on the property are paid up. The family has opted to donate the land provided the city puts up a plaque recognizing their grandfather, Asmund Vaagen. The donated land runs along the hillside in back of homes on Stevens Avenue as far as Danny Mann's home and goes up the bluff to forty or fifty feet below the well-known Rushford letters. Placement and specifics of the plaque have not been determined yet.

City Attorney Terry Chiglo does not anticipate any problems in the land transfer and does not expect that a survey would be needed. The walnut trees on the property were harvested several years ago. The land had been offered the city in the past, but the city had turned down the offer at that time.

Fire Contracts

Assistant Fire Chiefs Dave Lombard and Paul Corcoran presented the proposed fire contracts with surrounding townships to the council for their approval. The new contract, which would run from April 2007 to April 2009, would be at .018 of the tax capacity, down from the previous contract, which was at .022 of capacity. Even with the reduced percentage, the actual amount garnered would increase to $44,578.10, a 4.5 percent increase over the old contract's $42,649.59 because the tax capacity of the townships has increased.

Council members learned the state draws the lines for the areas covered by each fire department. Rushford, for example, covers all of Peterson and Rushford Village, but only 53 percent of Arendahl with the remainder of that township covered by the Lanesboro Department. The townships cover the expense of purchasing a new tanker in the next five to seven years as well as fifty percent of the cost of pagers and radios for the department.

Alternate water main route

The council approved going out for RFPs (request for proposals) to hire an environmental consultant for the construction of an alternate water main in the area of highways 43 and 16. City engineer Otomo presented two routes: the first route would be in line from the Muni, along the highway by Pam's Corner, and then the pipe would be directional bored under Hwy. 43 to Darr's D&D; the second route would go from the Muni, under Hwy. 16 to McGeorge's, along the Kwik Trip boulevard, and under Hwy. 43 at an angle, using open cut methods. The difference in methods used for construction would affect the cost significantly. A possible third route requiring easements from property owners along the route will be checked on as well.

Because the area has a "huge amount of pollution" underground, an environmental consultant would most likely be required once work was started. By hiring one before beginning the project, the city will be able to make a more educated decision regarding the route selection and types of pipes to be used; the city would not lose time waiting for a consultant later. The water main project is essential to improving the water quality in the area and was originally budgeted for in 2006. Improved water quality will encourage businesses such as the laundromat to remain open according to City Administrator Windy Block.

Other business

In other business the council:

• hired Steven Garrett as full-time police officer pending successful completion of physical and psychological testing and Melissa Berg as part-time bartender;

• granted a one year postponement of blacktopping their parking lot to Root River Community Church provided the church supplies a long-range facility plan at the year's end;

• approved a standard agreement with the County to provide ambulance service for $4,500 and a 24-hour answering and dispatch service for the calendar year;

• appointed Scott Tarras (term ends June 2008) and Charla Miertschin (term ends June 2007 with another three year term following) to the Airport Commission and Gary Hoff to the Planning Commission (term ends Jan. 2010);

• approved purchasing three more fans for around the outside of the bar area at the Municipal to improve air circulation;

• heard that Airport Commission Chairman Norris Kinneberg and City Administrator Windy Block would be meeting with airport FBO Mike Thern regarding the FBO contract and Thern's request for part-time employment;

• approved Mayor Les Ladewig and another council member meeting with Rushford Village Mayor Gordie Johnson and a CRV council member for coffee and a chat-results of the meeting will be reported to the council.

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