Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, June 22, 1998

Reuse study okayed for Winsted city hall

What to do with the old Winsted city hall will be determined with the help of a reuse study.

According to studies by city engineers Rieke, Carroll and Mueller, the building was determined to be a good candidate for renovation.

Because the old city hall is on the National Register of Historic Places, the State Historic Preservation Office of the Minnesota State Historical Society will conduct a reuse study. The study team will include outside experts such as design professionals, a historic architect and preservation representatives.

Also included will be local experts in real estate, building construction, and community affairs. The study will take two to four months to complete.

The study was approved by the council. The state will kick in $1,500 and the remaining $4,000 to $5,000 will be paid by the city.

The State Historic Preservation Office has completed over 30 reuse studies. The goals of the study will be:

While the study is being conducted the committee will also be able to determine what functions a city facility should have and what the space needs would be.

The study process will include publicizing the study to inform the public, interview residents and business leaders, identify available resources and opportunities, and evaluate the structural study competed by RCM.

All findings will be compiled into a report and presented to the community.

The estimated cost and potential revenues will be calculated for each option recommended and the community will make decisions regarding the reuse of the building.

NSP complaints

About 22 trees will need to be removed from the north end of Winsted to stop power outages during storms.

Lou Howard and Tom Berry of NSP were at the meeting and listened to resident complaints regarding how long it took for power to be restored after the last storm.

Howard said the trees are creating outages, especially during storms when the wind blows the branches onto the lines. Besides removing the trees, five others will have to be severely trimmed.

Howard said he had requested that NSP begin work within two weeks. NSP will contact the property owners and request permission to remove the trees.

About eight people were at the meeting and also discussed was the priority and policy for replacing power.

City administrator

City Clerk Betty Zachmann told the council the reasons a city administrator should be hired.

Zachmann said the workload can no longer be handled by the clerk, plus Development Director Floyd Sneer recently resigned.

The salary of the administrator would be covered under several funds, and it was the opinion of the council to hire an experienced person.

Zachmann was instructed to develop a job description and advertise the position until July 31, 1998.


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