Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, April 9, 2001

City council working to solve Winsted's building inspector needs

By Patrice Waldron

Building Inspector Paul Waldron of Waconia made a presentation about building inspection services at Tuesday's Winsted City Council meeting.

Waldron's firm serves as the building inspector for a number of area cities including Lester Prairie, Waconia, and Watertown.

Waldron admitted that his service fees are considerably higher than Winsted's current fees.

"Based on our fee schedule, our fees would run about $900 more, for a $150,000 home, than what you're paying now," he said.

"However, our services are quite extensive, compared to those you're currently receiving," he continued.

During his presentation, Waldron questioned the way the city's inspection fees were being calculated.

City Administrator Matt Podhradsky stated that he later went back, checked the figures, and found that they were correct.

"There are certain things we want to change with our building inspection process," said Podhradsky.

"That's why the city council is going through the process of interviewing building inspectors," he said.

Waldron pointed out that he and his employees act as zoning inspectors, who go through a checklist, but it's not their job to enforce the zoning ordinances.

Ed Erickson, Winsted's licensed building inspector, is now performing all inspections in the city. He had, most recently been performing only commercial inspections, but is now performing commercial and residential inspections.

At the next city council meeting Tuesday, April 17, the council will hear a presentation from a building inspection firm called WestMetro.

Kubasch development

The council approved the final plat for Kendell and Aaron Kubasch's development.

The Kubaschs are building townhomes for people age 55 and older. The name of the development is Golden Gates Estate.

The council agreed to contact the McLeod County Highway Department, endorsing the development, because it has an easement which is within the county's right-of-way.

Winsted on the Lake

There was discussion between two members of the audience and Mayor Don Guggemos about the difference between a public hearing and a city council meeting.

The council cannot take action, Guggemos explained, on the approximate 20 allegations against Bill Gilk concerning his Winsted on the Lake housing development, until all of the information is gathered.

Information from the Department of Natural Resources, and from the city's engineers is pending, he said.

"Mr. Gilk will be here when he has something to present that we can take action on," said Guggemos.

"We're doing what we have to do, in the way we have to do it," Guggemos continued.

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