July 9 news

WORTHINGTON – The Worthington City Council met Monday night and awarded a bid of $41,034 for stump grinding and seeding to Prairie Landscaping, owned by Allen Drost. The difference between Prairie Landscaping and the next lowest bid was almost $30,000. According to Director of Public Works Jim Eulberg, there are just under 800 stumps in the city that need grinding as a result of the April ice storm. Topsoil and seeding is part of the bid price, with the city providing the seed.

The city has spent approximately $2.1 million in cleanup and restoration efforts since the storm hit, and a majority of the cost will be covered by FEMA dollars. The rest should come from state funding and city reserves. How much money comes from city coffers depends on how the state splits up the $250,000 they set aside for unmet needs for the five county disaster area.

The council also awarded the bid for bituminous overlay of Fox Farm Road from Crailsheim to the west, East 9th Street from 11th Street to Clary Street, 13th Street from East 9th Street to 8th Street and placement of a skim overlay on Summit Avenue near Knollwood Drive. That bid was awarded to McLaughlin & Schulz, Inc., Marshall, for a total of $253,882.75.

WORTHINGTON – After a year in the works, the groundbreaking for a new meditation trail that will wind through the grounds of the Sunset Hospice Cottage will take place July 22. The construction will start with dirt work and the path itself, with completion expected this fall. The addition of benches and arbors will be done as donations allow. Anyone interested in donating to the project can contact Board of Directors member Don Basche at 360-1817.

DES MOINES, Iowa—A Milford man has been elected Vice Chairman of the Iowa Lottery Board. Herman Richter was elected to the position for the upcoming year by fellow members of the board, which will be chaired in the upcoming year by Mike Klappholz of Cedar Rapids. Members of the board establish policies and rules for the Iowa Lottery’s operation, and approves its budgets and contracts.

LARCHWOOD, Iowa – The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office investigated a report of a car versus deer crash at 1 p.m. Monday about seven miles west of Larchwood on A18. Trey Martin, 20, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota was test driving a 2007 Suzuki Forenza owned by Dell's Auto of Dell Rapids, South Dakota. Martin was eastbound on A18 just into Iowa when he struck a deer in the roadway. The deer was killed and the Forenza received approximately $6,000 in damages. No injuries to Martin were reported.

JACKSON – A two-vehicle crash on Jackson County Road 34 west of 430th Avenue resulted in injuries to both drivers Sunday, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. Kenneth Paul Ling, 20, of Round Lake, was traveling eastbound around 5:30 p.m. when his vehicle appears to have drifted over the center line, making contact with a 2004 Chevy Silverado driven by Richard Carl Benda, 63, of Jackson. Ling was transported to Sanford Worthington by ambulance. Benda was taken by private vehicle to Sanford Jackson. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage.

MINNESOTA - A state administrative law judge found that Xcel Energy‘s request for a 10.7 percent electric rate hike is too high. Judge Jeanne Cochran recommended that the Minnesota utility company be allowed to increase rates by 4.7 percent. Cochran found the utility this year likely will take in $26 million more than it projected and so it does not need as large of a rate hike.

The state Public Utilities Commission will ultimately set the new rates later this year. If the commission accepts Cochran’s recommendation, Xcel customers would pay more than they did last year, but less than they do now. That’s because since Jan. 1, Xcel customers have paid 9 percent more in interim rates.

Last November, Xcel asked for an 11.7 percent rate hike, but has twice reduced the request. Most recently, the electric utility said it would take a 7.8 percent increase. The Minnesota Commerce Department said Xcel deserved only a 3.7 percent bump.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson today announced that $1 million in grant funding is being made available to livestock producers in the state for on-farm improvements. The Livestock Investment Grants help farmers stay competitive and reinvest in their industry. The 179 grant recipients to date have invested an estimated $55 million in upgrades to their operations since the program began in 2008.

Qualifying producers would be reimbursed ten percent of the first $500,000 of investment, with a minimum investment of $4,000. Qualifying expenditures include the purchase, construction, or improvement of buildings or facilities for the production of livestock, and the purchase of fencing as well as feeding and waste management equipment. Producers who suffered a loss due to a natural disaster or unintended consequence may also apply. The grant will not pay for livestock or land purchases or for the cost of debt refinancing.

Minnesota livestock producers who applied for but did not receive a grant in past years will need to reapply to be considered for the 2013 program.

The deadline to apply for the grant program is September 23, 2013. More information on the Minnesota Livestock Investment Program can be found on the MDA website at www.mda.state.mn.us/livestockinvestmentgrant.

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