Local Gov't Accountability Roundup: 9/30/11

RED WING: City to Stay the Course with No Buyers for Mississippi National  After a year of teeing up the 36 hole city-owned Mississippi National golf links for sale, the city council voted to remain on course for the time being. The current lessee faces payment on a $1.1 million bond on November 1st, but “has indicated he doesn’t want to foot the bill.” City officials worry creditors could hold Red Wing at least partially responsible financially.

AUSTIN: Federal Customs Authorities Announce 3 Arrests in Local Immigration Raid  A national customs enforcement sweep resulted in three convicted criminals being rounded up last week on immigration-related charges, according to authorities. Enforcement officials said those taken into custody “are not the people we want in our communities” due to the seriousness of crimes they have been convicted of previously. Altogether 37 were arrested in Minnesota as part of the operation.

BURNSVILLE: Planning Commission Holds Up Development Over “Controversial” Driveway  The city planning commission approved a long-awaited CVS pharmacy development in Burnsville’s Heart of the City area. But there’s a sticking point holding up the development, which could be the catalyst for an additional retail and office building. And city planners seem reluctant to budge.

LITCHFIELD: County Hits Dead End on Road Funding  Meeker County could be in for more potholes over the next several years , according to the county highway engineer. The county estimates there will be a shortfall of funding for needed road construction, more than the $1.8 million per year the county receives from the gas tax. It would require a substantial local tax increase to make up the difference, according to officials.

BEMIDJI: Some Neighborhood Parks Closign as City Focuses on Priorities  A new proposal recommends eliminating several city parks and a boat access as the price to be paid for moving ahead with improvements in other parks. The upgrade would cost $6-7 million over the course of several years. Officials say neighborhood parks need to be upgraded about every 20 years and that new parks average $350,000 to build.


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