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Goodhue County Board briefs

Goodhue County Board

County makes Zip Rail opposition official

The Goodhue County Board approved 4-0 a resolution taking a stance against the proposed Zip Rail line from the Twin Cities to Rochester.

The resolution brought forward by Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel states the high-speed rail project would cut the county in half, disrupting agriculture and providing no benefit to residents.

Commissioners discussed the possibility of supporting a rail line along Highway 52, but only if the project would pay to build interchanges and services roads at all affected crossings in the county.

The public comment period on the Zip Rail Scoping Booklet and Draft Scoping Decision Document closes Friday. It can be accessed at www.goziprail.org.

Zoning ordinance cleanup OK’d

The board unanimously approved a number of changes to the Goodhue County Zoning Ordinance.

Planner/Zoning Administrator Mike Wozniak said one of the biggest changes is a provision requiring property owners to be current on property taxes before the county will issue a permit.

The rest of the “housekeeping” changes pertain to “applications, consistency for site plan definitions and clarification on the appeals process,” according to a staff report.

The decision came after a public hearing in which no one from the audience spoke.

Board awards $7 million in highway bonds

Commissioners approved the sale of nearly $7.8 million in bonds to FTN Financial Capital Markets to fund highway improvement projects.

FTN Financial was the lowest of 11 bids received by the county, according to a staff report. The interest rate on the 10 year bonds is 1.79 percent, equating to around $836,000 in interest costs.

“It’s a priority fixing our roads and I think it’s a great interest rate,” Board Chair Ron Allen said.

Meeting watch

Tuesday’s County Board meeting lasted about 36 minutes, not including a closed session to discuss building security. Commissioner Richard Samuelson was absent.

— Compiled by Michael Brun, staff writer

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

(651) 301-7875
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