Latest Preston, Minnesota, weather
weather sponsored by


Advanced Search
search sponsored by



Advertiser specials

Home

Subscribe

Business search

Best of Bluff Country

Email Directory

Calendar

Classifieds

Submit news/letters

Happy ads

Photo gallery

Minnesota news

Special sections/topics

Electronic newsletter signup

Tri-County Record

Destination: Bluff Country

RSS feeds

Contact us

Reader Poll
Poll Result

Who do you think will win the Super Bowl?

  100%
Denver Broncos

  0%
Seattle Seahawks


Reicks Auto License Bureau
Facebook
Bluff Country Printing Services
Carlson Craft



Greg Davids

home : republican-leader : preston/lanesboro/fountain area news July 10, 2014

3/7/2013 12:52:00 PM
Preston City Council assists county as it continues process towards veterans' cemetery
Fillmore County commissioner Duane Bakke speaks to the Preston City Council regarding the proposed veterans' cemetery to be built outside of Preston.PHOTO BY GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
Fillmore County commissioner Duane Bakke speaks to the Preston City Council regarding the proposed veterans' cemetery to be built outside of Preston.

PHOTO BY GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
By Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy


Fillmore County Commissioner Duane Bakke spoke to Preston's city council during the Monday, March 4, meeting. Bakke shared information regarding the permit progress and construction plans at the proposed state veterans' cemetery to be built near Preston.

A parcel of the land in question - north and west of the county highway shop - must be re-zoned to R-1 agricultural-residential from I-1 industrial in order to satisfy requirements as the planning stage proceeds.

Bakke informed the council, "The application is in Washington, D.C., for approval...I can't stand here and say that it's a done deal, but of the 113 they approved last year, we're number eleven."

A conditional use permit (CUP) will be presented at an upcoming Fillmore County commissioners' meeting to advance allowing the cemetery's construction. The cemetery will serve veterans within a 75-mile radius and will accommodate up to 300 burials per year, according to Bakke.

"This is a very unique thing," he added as he referred to the location's rolling hills. "We've been told that at the national level, it will become a model that people will come and look at because they usually have flat ground at these cemeteries, and this is a new way of building them."

The council approved the re-zoning for the county to continue pursuit of the cemetery's construction.

Brush dump

City employee Jim Bakken asked the council to allow him to have the now-bumpy, overgrown brush dumpsite leveled and cleared as an act of maintenance. Bakken explained this would make room for actual brush instead of the accumulating dirt that has resulted from years of burning and piling brush at the site.

"It has become very inefficient and unmanageable," he reported, explaining there's a lot coming into the dump every year, but nothing going out.

The dump's annual maintenance budget is $1,000, but Bakken said, "Last year, we spent $10, and the year before that, $74."

He shared that the cost of hiring Ron Scheevel to spend two days bulldozing the site stands at approximately $3,000. However, considering the fact that so little had been spent from the dump's account in previous years, he felt it left leeway for the council to grant the sum from the general fund, where the funds were deposited when not used.

Bakken then shared an $8,130 estimate for a 57-foot by 17-foot bunker to store various street repair materials, as some materials had been stored next to the city shop building, which now has been updated and repaired.

Scheevel would rent concrete forms to the city for $800 and provide advice regarding construction, but city utility workers would do the actual work, costing the utility department $4,500 and the city an equal share.

Councilmen raised the issue of whether the proposed build site is too close to the river and Bakken agreed to check with the county regarding whether the chosen plot would lead to materials running off into the river in case of flood or heavy rain.

Street project financing

The council discussed issues relating to the city's financing options for upcoming street projects, including numerous repairs and replacements. The main decision needing to be made is whether to finance $2 million or $4 million worth of projects.

City Clerk Joe Hoffman pointed out that Preston's bonding rating stands at AA-, a "good rating," and that the current debt per capita is $1,500. Financing $4 million would "put us in the moderate to high range," with $4,500 per capita debt, but it would also help the city accomplish cohesive projects.

With a larger portion of the projects tied together and a larger portion of the community assessed for the projects, the city could see a potential savings of 7 to 10 percent on a loan with a 2 percent interest rate.

The negative aspects of doing so would incur larger project staging, difficulty maintaining access to neighborhoods and would double the number of affected citizens. The larger project would also place a greater demand on city resources and the possibility that certain contractors will not be able to take on the project due to its size.

Financing $2 million, Hoffman noted, might incur additional costs simply because borrowing too little might mean the city would have to borrow again to finish a project.

He stated, "It's a gamble...we can delay the decision until we know more about the projects...we don't have to make a decision tonight."

The council followed that recommendation and tabled the matter until a future meeting.

Franchise agreement

The council renewed the city's service franchise agreement with Minnesota Energy Resources, as the 25-year agreement that had been in effect had expired. The agreement was approved with some changes made to the contract, including removal of a confidentiality clause that would limit the city's access to some information from Minnesota Energy Resources. This information includes data such as maps of gas service systems, as the maps must be provided to anyone who requests them, but the details of the systems are at the discretion of the company.




Spring Grove Comm/Fitness/Cinema




Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site, but every effort will be made to minimize the delay for any submission.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and e-mail address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment. Some comments may be published in our Web Watch column in the newspaper.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   













ExtrasLife
Bluff Country Newspaper Group
507-346-7365 • info@bluffcountrynews.com
Site Design and Content
Copyright 2014 1up!

Software © 1998-2014 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved