Local Gov't Accountability Roundup: 11/16/11

FERGUS FALLS: Scary! State Films Promo at Treatment Center to Lure Horror Movies
The Minnesota Film and TV Board was to film a promotional video at the Regional Treatment Center in hopes of marketing the location to Hollywood. It’s the film board’s most significant step yet in promoting Fergus Falls. “We believe in that property as a location. It’s unique to the state,” said Chris Grap, director of production services with the board. Grap indicated the location could work in a number of ways, but he said “some that stick out are horror movies, psychological thrillers or just movies set in a mental institution or hospital.” 

ORTONVILLE: Council More Than Doubles Parking Violation Fines Ortonville was behind the times in the cost of fines for most parking violations, charging just $5-10 for most tickets. No more. Most fines will be raised to $25 with handicapped zone violations quadrupling to $100. Offenses still outstanding after 30 days will result in a state citation. 

FOREST LAKE: City Utilities Cost to Rise for First Time in Years City water and sewer have been a drain on reserve funds without a rate increase for seven years. The sewer fund has also been losing money and is in the hole now. Rates will be going up between 7-10 percent. “Without a rate increase, the city could not pay interest on its debt in the next few years,” city finance director Ellen Paulseth said. 

ROCHESTER: Rail Line Recommendation Off Track for Some The route for the Chicago-Twin Cities “high speed” rail line should go through Winona rather than Rochester, according to MnDOT. State transportation officials made the recommendation based on the path of the existing Amtrak route along the Mississippi River.

MARSHALL: County Considers Tax Breaks for Development Lyon County commissioners will expedite consideration of a tax increment financing district. The TIF district could be a factor in Schwan Food’s potential $9 million ice cream plant expansion that would create some 64 jobs.

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