By Jon Tatting
The Rush City Council on May 14 approved a wide sidewalk to be installed this summer along County Road 7, from West 7th Street Circle to South Harte Avenue.
Rush City-based Prefer Paving, Inc. will do the job, which will cost $6,500 from tax increment financing (TIF) funds. The sidewalk is designed to give pedestrians a safe alternative to using the busy Co. Rd. 7.
Additional sidewalk/trail along the roadway is expected in the future.
In other news, councilors:
• Agreed to upgrade the outdoor warning siren at the fire hall to narrow band radio operations thus increasing performance and usability for the anticipated 800 MHz radio system upgrade. Councilors chose the upgrade, quoted at $8,120, over adding a new siren at a cost of about $23,971.
• Viewed the contract costs that neighboring townships and the city will be assessed for fire service for 2012. Under a formula based on past fire runs, Nessel’s cost is $19,945; Rushseba, $27,336; Fish Lake, $4,370; Royalton, $7,284; Rock Creek, $17,482; and Rush City, $64,314.
• Approved a pay voucher totaling $470,980 for the city’s portion of work on the TH 361 turn back project. Though progress is being made, work has been slowed due to recent rains. For updates, go to http://rushcitymn.us.
• Agreed to hold off on adopting a new residential rental property registration and licensing ordinance until an ongoing legal dispute involving the city of Red Wing is resolved, likely in a month or two. City attorney Peter Grundhoefer recommended the action, noting Red Wing was sued by a landlord group based on the constitutionality of the city’s ordinance.
• Accepted an encroachment agreement regarding the sale of city land to the St. Croix River Education District (SCRED). SCRED requested the measure to build a portion of its foundation into the city right-of-way, about a foot below grade.
• Directed the city administrator to set up a meeting between council members and Rush City Schools Superintendent Vern Koepp to discuss a better investment plan for the aquatic center’s trust fund. Councilors stressed a return is needed on the investment, so the $500,000-plus in the trust fund can gradually grow to help offset costs associated with the pool.