Rushford Council listens to concerns over Depot funding, acknowledges Eagle Scout project

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Rushford Mayor Chris Hallum met with most of the City Council, City Administrator Tony Chladek, and City Clerk/Treasurer Kathy Zacher for a Regular City Council Meeting on October 22. Council Member Terri Benson was not present. Also attending the meeting were two members from Rushford’s Boy Scout Troop #53, their scoutmaster, and local resident Mike Jeresek.

Off-season funding for Depot facilities

During the Appearance of Interested Citizen’s portion of the meeting, Jeresek addressed the council regarding the topic of the DNR’s reduced funding for the Depot and its facilities during the winter months. Jeresek voiced his concern over the lack of proper facilities along the trail and at the Depot, as visitors and people who frequent the area year-round should have access to use and rest at these proper facilities. Even though the council stated that they, as well as many in the community agreed with Jeresek, they explained the reduction in DNR support is based on funding issues. The City of Rushford splits the operational costs with the DNR for the facilities (electric, water, etc.). The council discussed how the DNR had made this decision in previous years, then somehow found funding for it again later on. The council thanked Jeresek for his input on this important topic and for coming to the meeting.

Eagle Scout project

The council heard a presentation given by Merrill Schroeder, of Boy Scout Troup #53, regarding his Eagle Scout Project, which involved the construction of an ice rink warming house with funding for equipment and site amenities. Schroeder had planned, organized, and fundraised for the project, and showed slides depicting the stages of the project from start through completion. Schroeder also employed younger scouts  from the troop, who got to learn the ropes of teamwork and carpentry as they came to help. The warming house is now ready, on skids for easy relocation. It is insulated, sided, and finished inside. Schroeder stated that, partly due to his scoutmaster’s trade of being a builder, the project was able to obtain and reuse many leftover materials that helped to keep the project under budget.

Schroeder then proudly presented a check for $860.06 to the council for that might be used for other warming house items. Schroeder suggested “…the possible purchase of some used ice skates, some lighting, and a heating source”.  Zacher agreed, stating that the Public Works Director had already mentioned some of these items could be purchased by the city for the warming house. Mayor Hallum and the council extended their sincere gratitude for the Eagle Scout’s project, the hard work involved, and the donation. Resolution 2018-063 Acknowledging Donation from Merrill Schroeder Eagle Scout Project passed after much praise from the council.  Mayor Hallum and Schroeder proudly posed for photos as Schroeder accepted the signed resolution immediately after the motion passed.

Kiosks and crossings

The council then discussed other matters, including feedback from visitors and residents on several new informational kiosks that have been erected in the city. Councilor Ryman noted several instances when she “sees people viewing the kiosks at the bluff.” Ryman added that she “is impressed by people immediately walking over and looking over the kiosks.” Other new kiosks locations include at the R-P Schools, along the trails, and soon at the Rushford Airport. City Administrator Tony Chladek added “There are different versions. They are a nice enhancement.”

The city also discussed the possibility of extending the DNR trail by the levee as a safe, alternative path for children to use to get to school from the Brooklyn area.  The city may be able to obtain special funding to help with this project. The council asked the two Rushford Boy/Eagle Scouts in attendance how they felt about the newly installed school crossing at Hwy 43, the flashing lights, and how (and if) they get used by kids. The youths offered some feedback, including how often the children’s line of view of traffic coming over the bridge is obscured as they attempt to cross. The council is reviewing the feedback and going to investigate the city’s options further on safe alternative walkways for children.


The next meeting of the Rushford City Council will be held on Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m. due to observance of the Veteran’s Day holiday.