Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, July 23, 2001

Winsted council wants old city hall project to happen

By Chris Schultz

With little discussion, no fanfare and no controversy, the Winsted City Council at Tuesday's regular meeting, reviewed the current status of Winsted's old city hall project and the contract with developer Todd Colonna.

Colonna's intention is to renovate and restore the old building and then make it available for lease space.

Winsted City Attorney Fran Eggert informed the council that due to requirements placed on Colonna by possible financing agents for the project, some minor adjustments to the contract between the city and Colonna would need to be made.

Eggert continued, noting that banks interested in working with Colonna on the project require that they be placed ahead of the city, or in a first position, when financing a project like this one in case there is a default on the loan.

Eggert noted the process of revising the contract is underway and, with some work, the contract should be able to satisfy all parties.

Members of the audience interested in the project offered their assistance to the city and Eggert. However, Eggert noted that at this time, their offer is appreciated, but assistance is not needed.

The discussion on the old city hall ended with Council Member Tom Ollig stating "I think the council wants to make this work."

Administrator proposes new council presentation format

Winsted's new City Administrator Brent Mareck proposed to the council and new council presentation format.

Mareck informed the council the new format would incorporate regular staff meetings with administration and outline a system for bringing items or issues to the council.

The purpose would be to inform the council of background and policy information prior to the meeting. "It would give the council, staff, and the public a better chance to be informed and participate," stated Mareck.

At Tuesday's meeting, Mareck provided the council with and Executive Agenda Summary and a new item titled the Administrator's Digest.

The council was pleased with both items and looked favorably upon Mareck's proposal.

Mareck later informed the Journal the new format would have to be worked through with staff and would take a few months to establish.


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