June 11, 2007

Winsted council agrees to inch forward on city center project

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

“We will inch forward with this project, whatever it takes,” Winsted Mayor Steve Stotko said during a public informational hearing to review the city center and lakefront promenade at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The city was recently disappointed when legislation that would have given the City of Winsted bonding authority for the new city center project was vetoed by Governor Tim Pawlenty.

However, City Administrator Brent Mareck seemed optimistic about finding resources for the project, especially since city center bids received are nearly $750,000 under the project budget.

The city has until Aug. 5 to accept bids. No bid has been accepted at this time.

The council has scheduled a special meeting Tuesday, June 12 at 6 p.m. to determine the city’s next step for the project.

Dangerous animal hearing was positive experience

The hearing about a supposedly dangerous golden retriever belonging to Michelle Klein of Winsted resulted in a positive ending for everyone.

The mediation efforts used at the hearing by the council were based on simply listening to everyone involved, and then asking all of the right questions.

Officer Jeremiah Jessen said the Winsted Police Department responded to two complaints about Klein’s dog within a one-year period.

Both incidents involved complaints about the dog chasing people, and, in one incident, small children.

Jessen responded to the second incident, and when he approached the dog, it started to growl and show its teeth, Jessen said.

He added that he received acanine training in the Air Force and felt the dog would have definitely attacked him if he had approached the house.

Klein spoke in a voice that sometimes shook with emotion, explaining that her dog has never bitten anybody. In both cases reported, she told the council that the dog had not left her property.

Jessen agreed that the dog was sleeping alongside the garage when he approached in his car.

Klein told the council she has five children ranging in age from four to 18 years old. Not once has the dog been aggressive toward or bitten one of the children or any of their friends, she said.

Klein recalled a time when the dog had been taunted by children who threw rocks at him, but she still did not think he would ever bite anyone.

“He would growl and bark, but not bite,” Klein said.

Klein also told the council that she had called the vet who told her that the dog could be trained to overcome his aggressiveness.

Council Member Bonnie Quast felt the training was a good idea and asked to have that be part of a six-month trial period recommended by Council Member Tom Wiemiller. During the six-month trial period the dog is to be chained, or is to be wearing its collar used with underground fencing.

Klein reassured the council that she would abide by the council’s decision. She was even considering removing the dog from her home and giving him to a friend in the country.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• approved the architect/engineer agreement between the City of Winsted and Short Elliott Hendrickson for the Winsted Municipal Airport’s 2007 turf runway rehabilitation project.

• accepted the final plat for Grass Lake Farms’ second addition, contingent on the plat being filed with McLeod County within 30 days.

• accepted the feasibility report and authorized SEH to prepare plans and specifications for the construction of a stormwater system in the Winsted Industrial Park at an estimated project cost of $64,150.

• authorized SEH to conduct a feasibility study for a construction project on Shady Creek Drive and Shady Creek Circle for a cost not to exceed $2,000.

• approved a closed meeting Tuesday, June 12, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss possible litigation on the old city hall.

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