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Rushford sets levy at $550,000


Fri, Sep 15th, 2006
Posted in Government

RUSHFORD - The Rushford City Council passed a resolution setting the maximum levy for 2007 at $550,000, the same amount as set for 2006 at their regular council meeting September 11. Since there was no increase, the city would not have needed to set public hearings on the proposed budget and property taxes. The council, however, decided to still hold hearings to give the citizens a chance to voice their opinions. The Truth in Taxation hearing is set for December 4 with a continuation hearing, if needed, set for December 11. The levy adoption hearing will also be on December 11. City administrator Windy Block agreed with the proposed levy remaining the same as in 2006, noting since the utility improvements had been quite aggressive this year, it was better to keep the budget down as much as possible.

Economic development received an increase from a total of $37,200 in 2006 to $75,226 in 2007. This increase is intended to help with the promotion of the TRW property as well as other development in the city. The general fund will see a transfer in of $30,000 from the liquor fund and $30,000 from the electric fund. City Clerk Kathy Zacher pointed out the Tyrol bond will be paid off in 2007 and the Scenic View bond will be paid off in 2008. Zacher also mentioned LGA has averaged around $6,000 more each year, not even a cost of living increase for the funding. When LGA was most drastically cut, the city's capital projects took a big hit and were postponed.

The city does not expect to need to purchase any major items this coming year; rather it will be a year of accumulating funding for future years. A new ambulance and a fire truck were purchased in the past year. The council intends to spend more time fine-tuning the budget before the end of the year.

Voting machines

Zacher enthusiastically explained the voting machine and tabulation equipment to the council. The primary election Tuesday was to be the first official use of the machines after a public testing of the equipment on Monday. Zacher informed the council it would be impossible to cross party lines in the primary; the machine would only give choices from the party the voter originally entered into the machine. The voting machine with its touch screen and Braille buttons was designed to enable anyone to vote. The tabulation machine counts the votes and provides a printout to be delivered to Preston in a much more timely fashion than in the past. Zacher had long wanted such a machine; previously cost made that impossible. The federal HAVA (Help America Vote Act) now provided the machine to the city.

Other business

In other business the council:

• accepted the bid of $10,000 from the Brownsdale Fire Department for the old pumper fire truck;

• heard Lisa Lawston had accepted the position of project coordinator for the Blandin "Get Broadband" Grant;

• approved signing of authorization of the Minnesota Trails Assistance Program Maintenance Grant Agreement for the $25,920 snowmobile trail grant;

• heard the final draft was being "pulled together' for the mailings to be done by Ron Ziegler from SEMDC to seek prospective firms for TRW's plant;

• learned talks were continuing with the Village about the sewer rates and plant. The two cities have not yet seen a need to pay the engineer to attend their meetings.

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