June 18, 2007

Cokato vandalism didn't target Functional Industries

Juvenile destruction last month was random, not targeted toward vulnerable adults

By Lynda Jensen

Vandalism in Cokato a few months ago did not target vulnerable adults at Functional Industries, according to information received at the Cokato City Council last Monday.

“They were not singled out,” commented Deputy Shaun Tyznik, who answered questions about the subject at the council meeting.

Other places were vandalized, including residences and other public places. Two days later, juveniles were arrested and connected to the offenses, Tyznik said.

In fact, the parents, themselves, turned in the suspects, Mayor Bruce Johnson added.

The Johnsons’ place, near the post office, still has a swatiska there, it was noted.

“It was widespread,” said Council Member Butch Amundsen.

The council noted that it received a letter from Barbara Thomes, a board member of Functional Industries.

“Why are such young children allowed to rule the town?” Thomes wrote. She asked for consequences to the lawbreakers, and noted that the vulnerable adults at Functional Industries were suffering, according to her letter.

Insurance renewal OK’d

The council also renewed the city’s annual insurance package, which showed a decrease in premiums from a change in the worker’s compensation portion, due to a former employee’s status. The 2006 amount was $107,496, and 2007 $103,096. The city received a $5,338 dividend in 2006.

Faust told the Enterprise after the meeting that the liquor ordinance, both on and off sale, did not add any cost to the city’s premium. The businesses that obtain permits must carry their own insurance, he said.

Insurance agent Dan Faust noted that the city should be sure to ask the Stipes show, when it comes into town, to show proof of insurance so that the city could be named a secondary insurer.

Studio restoration moves forward

Turning to other subjects, the council approved revised bid letting for the Gust Akerlund Studio restoration, with an extended date to July (see the legal notice for bid specifications).

The building was recently featured in a full page write up in the St. Paul Pioneer Press as part of a book review of several historic buildings. Most of the article was devoted to the studio.

It was noted that the restoration has some issues, such as removing the foundation by hand, that would be required.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• renewed the two-year assessment services contract with Wright County at $10.50 per parcel. There is also an additional fee of $25 per new construction (residential/commercial/industrial) permit with an estimated cost of $499,000 or less. An additional fee of $100 per parcel for new construction (commercial/industrial) with a permit value over $500,000 was set at $100 per parcel.

• tabled an estimate for seal coating of $85,100 by Mid Minnesota Hot Mix for seal coating Pleasant Avenue, behind the city hall, the alley between Third and Fourth streets, and the alley to Mooers (between the Andersons and the post office). It was unclear what part of the budget would cover this item, and so it was tabled for further information.

• awarded the regular seal coating bid for 2007 to Caldwell of Hawick for $41,643.

• designated County Road 137 to be CSAH 31 (an extension of that road), as requested by the Wright Couty.

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