Jan. 8, 2007

A new year and two new faces on HL City Council

By Jennifer Gallus
Staff Writer

Residents of the City of Howard Lake have a new mayor, Rick Lammers, and a new council member, Peter Zimmerman who took the oath of office at last week’s council meeting.

After the new mayor was sworn in, outgoing Mayor Terry Ostgulen was presented with a certificate of appreciation for dedicated service to the City of Howard Lake and the city council from 2004 to 2006.

Upon exiting his council member seat, Shelly Reddemann was presented with a certificate of appreciation for dedicated service to the City of Howard Lake and the city council from 1993 to 2006.

The council quickly got to business and spent much time reviewing the concept plan for the replat of Terning Trails.

“This is the first step they (GCI Builders) have to take. Nothing is legally binding with either side at this time,” City Administrator Kelly Hinnenkamp said.

It was noted that GCI Builders have a February deadline to apply for the financial incentives program called the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund’s Building Better Neighborhoods Program.

After much discussion about appropriate lots sizes, diverse home construction, and the clarification that the roads will indeed be 32 feet wide, the council approved the concept plan.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• adopted the 2007 fee schedule.

• approved the annual business licenses’

• renewed the Minnesota lawful gambling applications for the Sportsmen’s Club and the Howard Lake Fire Relief Association.

Preliminary council committees and assignments

During the workshop after the council meeting, the following list of committe assignments was devised and will be voted on at the next meeting.

• Acting mayor, Jan Gilmer

• Second acting mayor, Tom Kutz

• Civil defense director, Craig Loebertmann

• Community center/library, Rick Lammers, and Kelly Hinnenkamp

• Housing redevelopment authority, full council

• Planning commission, Jean Schmidt, Fran Wren, April Debner, Willie Lewis, and Shelly Reddemann

• Health officer, Ridgeview Medical Clinic

• Official newspaper, Herald Journal Publishing

• Official depositories, Howard Lake Security State Bank, Citizen’s State Bank of Clara City, First State Bank of Lake Lillian, and First Valley Bank of Seely Lake, Mont.

• Personnel committee, Rick Lammers, and Al Munson

• Police committee, Tom Kutz, and Rick Lammers

• Sewer and water committee, Al Munson, and Jan Gilmer

• Street committee, Peter Zimmerman, and Jan Gilmer

• Weed control officer, Al Munson

• Liquor store committee, Tom Kutz, and Peter Zimmerman

• Park commission, Mike Mitchell, Jean Schmidt, Shelly Reddemann, Darrell Main, and vacancy

• Fire board, Rick Lammers, and Tom Kutz

• Cable/public access commission, Don Danford, Curt Levang, Margaret Marketon, Rick Lammers, Todd Weich, Kendell Kubasch (non-voting), and Tim Munson (non-voting)

Hope for a grocery store

After the council meeting, discussion took place during the workshop regarding an interested grocer setting up shop in the old grocery store building.

“Mark Custer (the owner of the grocery store building) has been working really hard to get another grocery store in there. He’s been approached by others who would retrofit the building for use as a different business, but Mark has diverted them,” Hinnenkamp explained.

It was agreed that since a grocery store would be beneficial to the city’s residents, the city should have some input and should consider giving a monetary subsidy towards the realization of a grocery store in town.

Because the city gave $39,000 to the clinic to move into the bank and be part of that project, most felt that it would be a good idea to make a $30,000 donation towards new refrigeration equipment that would entice the new grocer and possibly seal the deal.

“Mark feels it would close the deal if we purchase the equipment. I view this as a similar circumstance (as to the clinic subsidy), and even more urgent because we don’t have a grocery store,” Hinnenkamp said.

The council will look for a motion at the next meeting to draft a business subsidy agreement, with many conditions, to aid the possible future store.

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