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Rushford City Council Report: Winona company, PAFT, buys TRW building

Fri, Dec 1st, 2006
Posted in Government

Although PlastiComp had shown an early interest in purchasing the east TRW building, city administrator Windy Block informed the Rushford City Council at the regular November 27th council meeting PlastiComp had not been the successful bidder for the property. While Block was hesitant to disclose the winning bidder, Rodney Allen of PAFT, LLP, disclosed in a phone interview that his company had signed a purchase agreement with TRW for the east building. PAFT is a real estate holding company, which holds the leases for Riverside Electronics located in Lewiston and Winona and for Riverstar, Inc. and JMW, both located in Winona. Allen had no further comment on the situation or future of the TRW east building.

Block related to the council that interested companies had asked about the availability of JOBZ benefits for the TRW buildings. Currently, the buildings are not included in JOBZ. In order for them to have JOBZ status, a transfer would need to be made from JOBZ acreage; this would require hearings and the approval of the school district and the county board as well as the state. Block reminded the council the use of JOBZ for the east TRW building would result in a total loss to the county, state and city of around $19,833 a year for the next nine years until the end of 2015. The only property tax the owners would pay would be the two school district levies of $2,919 and tax on the land only (about $1,044). He urged the council to carefully consider if they wanted to provide such an incentive to potential buyers.

Ropes and Tschumper

Newly elected state senator Sharon Ropes and state representative Ken Tschumper visited the council meeting to meet the council and share their objectives for the future. Ropes informed the council she had been assigned to both the health policy and budget committees as well as the education policy committee and the agriculture and veterans' committee. As a nurse, a former Winona schoolboard member, and a veteran, Ropes had an interest in serving on those committees. Ropes said she was already working on writing some legislation on health care issues and wanted to be "ready to hit the ground running" on January third.

Tschumper shared that he also wanted to serve on the health committee; he hopes to help struggling nursing homes. Other committees that interest Tschumper include environmental and economic development. Reminding the council there are 29 new members in the state house, Tschumper predicted, "In 60 to 100 days you'll see major new legislation passed." He noted LGA funding for cities was at the top of the agenda and reported his caucus had already been discussing it.

Mayor Les Ladewig expressed his hope for open communication between the council and Ropes and Tschumper. Council member Ron Mierau added he hoped the state was done with "strictly partisan politics." Ladewig presented the two with lefse and a brochure about Rushford as he thanked them for their visit.

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