RC reduces fire risk through burning project

By Jon Tatting

A controlled burning project in the Rush City area has given a literal meaning to the phrase, fight fire with fire.

At the city council meeting April 9, Rush City Fire Chief Bob Carlson noted the department along with Harris Fire recently burned about 26 acres over multiple days. The burn kills off the older brush and vegetation to help reduce fire risk and protect wildlife, Carlson explained.

“I don’t think it could have gone better,“ said Councilor Al Hoffman.

Council members and Carlson also discussed how much trash is being found in areas off the beaten path around town. From near creeks to inside a ravine, people are dumping not just ordinary garbage but appliances, tires and even road signs and traffic cones, they said.

Carlson proposed that the problem areas should be part of a future clean-up day.

City Administrator Amy Mell noted the fire department received $840 from the Rush City Lions and a communications equipment matching funds grant worth $1,000. The grant money is expected to go toward the 800 MHz radio system upgrade, Carlson said.

Councilors and Carlson agreed that the 30-year-old emergency siren in town should be upgraded soon to comply with the new technology.

4th Street turnback

The construction crew in charge of the 4th Street turnback project is making progress, as water main, sanitary sewer and storm sewer are either finished or nearing completion on the west side beginning with Bremer Avenue.

Workers are starting on placing sand and then gravel on the sections of road that are ready. In fact, work won’t continue west of Irving until gravel is down east of Field, said Mell of the contractor’s plan.

The subcontractor doing the curb and gutter will move in April 23. When that’s complete, they will start on sidewalks from Bremer to and through Field by month’s end.

The paving contractor is expected to be in the first part of May to place the first two lifts of pavement from Bremer to Field.

While there haven’t been many complaints from the public, there have been issues with people tampering with construction equipment and even breaking into a construction trailer, Mell informed the council.

As a result, she continued, law enforcement is going to boost its patrols by squad and foot with special emphasis on checking the project area in the evening and early morning hours.

Underage drinking

Mell announced a town hall meeting on underage drinking is scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 16 at Rush City High School. The public will learn about the process involved with a minor consumption violation; a panel discussion will follow. Presenters will include probation, law enforcement, athletic director, youth-serving organization and other professionals from the community.

Partners for a Drug Free Chisago County also announced that Community Partnership will present substance abuse data from its annual survey during the Partners’ quarterly meeting on April 19. A location has yet to be determined.

In other news, the council:

• Approved agricultural or farming leases with Ron and Judy Nelson, Mark Moulton and Charles and Lance Petersen.

• Learned the city has completed its end of the development agreement that would bring a Dollar General store to Rush City. The developer could start building in June, said Mell.

• Agreed to pay up to $1,000 of the closing cost after Bronson and Lael Erickson accepted the city’s $15,000 offer for the vacant lot consisting of two parcels east of Hair Do or Dye.

Upcoming events

The Board of Review meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. April 17 at city hall.

The Chamber’s Spring Wine Tasting is May 17 at Bulrush Golf Course.

The annual Fly-in event at the Rush City Municipal Airport is Sunday, June 10.

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