Local Gov't Accountability Roundup 11/8/11

FERGUS FALLS:  Library Hopes to Expand—In 2018  Fergus Falls is considering the need for a new $5.5 million library but will take it slow.  For one thing, the city has to let the current local option sales tax for the new ice arena play out before asking voters to approve another one for a library 

SPRING LAKE PARK:  Students to Get Million Dollar Walkway  MnDOT wants to replace the 1970s vintage walkway over Highway 65 for students at Spring Lake High School and other wayfarers. State taxpayers would cover the $1.25 million for the walking bridge that’s set to be replaced in 2013.

AITKIN:  Board Grounds Proposal for Aerial Photos  County commissioners rejected a plan for aerial photographs that would be made available for use by county assessors and other officials.  After a year, the company pitching the plan would have the option of selling the photos to anyone on the internet.  Questions over the cost, privacy and security grounded the plan. 

WILLMAR:  Historic Designation Could Add up for Local Hotel  The Minnesota Historical Society nominated the 1920s Lakeland Hotel in Willmar for the National Historic Register.  The building was taken over after foreclosure by Bremer Bank and currently houses two restaurants, a hair salon and tattoo parlor.  $20,000 in grants to a local architect have paved the way to a proposal to convert 32 small apartments on the top two floors to ten “market-rate” units.  Historic designation is critical to obtaining state and federal tax credits for the project and could come in February.

HUTCHINSON:  Alternative Energy Proposals Could Generate Debate  Two renewable energy projects involving wind and solar power will come up before the city council.  A study on the feasibility of installing solar energy at a wastewater facility or water tank will be presented, along with a wind project on city owned land.


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