Your Town Tuesday: Rice Mayor Talks Highway 10, Northstar, Trash [VIDEO]
RICE - This week in our "Your Town Tuesday" series we are highlighting the community of Rice.
Rice is home to 1,337 residents, according to the latest U.S. Census figures. The town has grown significantly since 1990, when the population was only 610. Rice will celebrate it's 125th anniversary next year. It was established in 1890 by Hotelier and mill owner George Rice.
Dale Rogholt has been the mayor for the past two years. The Highway 10 Project is the biggest news in town. Rogholt says originally he thought the businesses on the east side of the highway would be impacted by the construction, but that hasn't been the case. He says, "MnDOT and Mathowietz Construction have been so accommodating to keep access open to those businesses."
Rogholt says he's hopeful the businesses in Rice won't be hurt, once the stop light on the highway is removed, "I really believe that old habits are hard to die. The people that are coming up from the Cities that are going to the Brainerd area will still want to make Rice a stopping place. I really think it's going to have easier access on and off."
The Highway 10 reconstruction project is scheduled to continue into early November.
Rogholt says the town is considering going to a single hauler garbage system - similar to what's now in place in Sauk Rapids. He says, "What will we be saving if we do have that. Other than a residential consumer bill, we're looking at the savings on the wear and tear on the roads. Also, the pollution affect with all the diesel fuel in the trucks."
Rogholt says so far they've had just a couple of preliminary meetings on the issue, and no timeline has been determined yet. He says they plan to start a survey process in the next Rice newsletter.
At one time there was a big push to get the Northstar Commuter Rail all the way up to Rice. But, Rogholt says they're no longer thinking that's an option. He says, "I believe a couple meetings ago we signed a resolution to disaffiliate ourselves with the Northstar Commission, because we had one active member - Joe Voight - but there was no action on it."
Rogholt says Northstar supporters would be lucky just to get it to St. Cloud.
Rogholt says Rice is also working to expand their industrial base. He says they've had some inquiries about some existing vacant buildings, and they welcome any and all proposals because that's where the tax base is.
Mark your calendar for Rice Family Fun Day coming up this year on August 16th.
Coming up next Tuesday on our "Your Town Tuesday" series we're going to highlight the town of Holdingford.