Local Gov't Accountability Roundup 12/2/11

ROCHESTER:  Christmas Comes Early As School District Finds $2.6 Million   Rochester schools got an early present this holiday season.  $2.6 million in unspent funds was uncovered in an audit.  While school board officials say there won’t be new hiring, it appears there will be no cutbacks in next year’s budget for the first time in four years.

FERGUS FALLS:  City Forgives Remainder of Muni Golf Course Loan And Raises Rates  Memberships and other rates are going up at the city-owned Pebble Lake Golf Course next season.  The greatest impact will be on single week memberships which will jump from $10 to $85.  The public works committee recommended writing off the remaining $70,000 of a city loan to the course for new equipment in 2008.  The $175,000 loan was made with the understanding it would be forgiven in $35,000 annual increments in exchange for an updated long term plan.

MORA:  Adult Day Center Starting Up Soon  The city council gave the go-ahead for an adult day center in Mora that will be open Sunday through Saturday by appointment.  The Eagles Crossing Adult Day Center will provide a variety of support services from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.

RED RIVER VALLEY:  American Crystal Hints at Eventual Deal with Unions  At the company’s annual meeting, American Crystal’s CEO David Berg indicated confidence that the four month long standoff with labor would be resolved at some point.  Berg said locked-out workers would be better off by $3,000 a year  under the company’s last offer, but must  pay more of their health care costs.  Union leaders say with company profits up with high sugar prices, workers should share more in that success.

BELLE CREEK:  Goodhue County Residents Appeal Wind Farm   A standing room only crowd was present as the Belle Creek Town Board decided to appeal a recent state decision to approve a major wind farm in Goodhue County. Officials estimated the appeal would cost $15-25,000 in addition to the $15,000 already spent opposing the renewable energy proposal.  

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