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Rushford City Council Report: Perspectives on cycles and deer

Fri, Oct 13th, 2006
Posted in Government

Motorcycles-unwanted, unnecessary noise or the welcome sound of visitors arriving to spend time and money in Rushford? Deer-beautiful "pets" to feed and enjoy or pests that demolish gardens and yards? The Rushford city council spent much of their regular meeting October 10th discussing what the stance of the council should be on both issues.

Richard and Holly Holle attended the meeting to ask the council to take action to handle motorcycle noise that was "just too much" in their opinion. "I do not want to take away the joy of the ride-just the noise!" declared Richard. He continued, "Citizens have the right to quiet enjoyment of their homes."

Henry (Stumpy) Becker pointed out that the restaurants and other businesses in town look forward to the increased trade generated by the motorcycle runs.

Chief of Police Sam Stensgard hasn't found the cycle activity "alarming;" he reminded staff the cycles travel through other communities and on highways without causing a problem. Stensgard felt the wrong message could be sent visitors if the city was to enforce a noise ordinance.

The current noise ordinance refers to the hours of 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. and is concerned with noises such as horns, boom boxes, etc.; it doesn't apply to this situation. City Clerk Kathy Zacher reminded the council the city lawyer had said it was difficult to define "too loud." A decibel meter would be necessary if the ordinance were made more specific.

Holle suggested a sign stating the noise law was strictly enforced. City Administrator Windy Block responded that sign pollution could be a problem too, noting that signs could be posted saying other things were enforced as well.

At the end of the meeting a concerned cyclist spoke with Block wondering what the city's stance was on the issue since a run was planned for the weekend. Block replied with a smile, "Try to help us keep it to a mild roar." The council consensus was that they would create no new ordinance at this time, but rather remind cyclists to be considerate of others as they enjoy their ride.


After being approached about the possibility of allowing bow hunters to "clean up the deer" on some property in the city near the river, Block asked the council for their feelings on deer hunting in the city. Block pointed out that Peterson allows hunting in the city with the mayor determining who was allowed to participate. Block offered to research other city's policies if the council so desired. Council member Laura Deering shared her concerns, stating she considered the deer to be more like pets. Already feeling uncomfortable when hunters walk through her backyard, Deering feared a policy allowing hunting in the city would only increase such traffic. Council member Nancy Benson saw no problem researching the possibility with a decision to be made later.

Acknowledging there were a lot of deer in the city, council member Ron Mierau wasn't opposed as long as the hunting was not allowed near occupied homes; Council member Larry Johnson agreed, saying he had no problems with it in wooded areas. Block will prepare a report for the council's discussion at an upcoming meeting.

Other business

In other business the council:

• gratefully accepted a grant of $1,000 for economic development from Minnesota Energy Resources (formerly Aquila); Angie Bennett presented the check, informing the council, "We are pleased to partner with your community as it faces changes and challenges in the future.";

• approved hiring Forester Katie Himanga to draft a plan to collaborate with MNDOT to improve area around the Rushford sign on Hwy. 43 as well as other entrance corridors to the city at a fee of no more than $1,080;

• approved new firemen, Nick Smith, Jeremiah Smith, and Tim Diepenbrock to the Fire Department and heard Chief Mike Ebner's report that the open house had been a success;

• heard contracts were signed and work would be proceeding on the utilities for Larson Lane;

• learned City Engineer Bill Chang would be monitoring a test to see if radium can be removed from the water in wells three and four and would also be available to discuss the sewer treatment plant with the city and village representatives.

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