By Lynda Jensen
Recycling and spring cleaning were on the minds of the Dassel City Council as it conducted business during its regular meeting last Monday.
Two dates are set to address spring cleanup:
• A large-item recycling day has been set aside Saturday, May 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. where residents may bring their items to the liquor store parking lot to be collected and recycled.
There are nominal fees for each item, with the following being accepted: appliances, computers, monitors, TVs, tires, and car batteries.
Also on this day, there will be curbside pickup for those unable to bring items to the liquor store for a cost of $3 per item.
• A curbside pickup of trash and miscellaneous items is set for Saturday, May 16, which is free to residents.
A sample of what can be taken away includes old carpet, lumber, furniture and many other kinds of miscellaneous things that are listed as being “not” acceptable. Items not acceptable are appliances, electronics, batteries, tires, and fluorescent bulbs.
Neither of these collection dates are open for hazardous household waste, which must be taken care of through the county.
It was noted that the council wanted to avoid hitting the fishing opener with cleanup dates. The cleanup effort is to help residents conform to stricter blight standards tightened last year via city ordinance.
Mayor visits with baseball association
Mayor Mike Scanlon reported that he attended a recent DC Baseball Association meeting.
The baseball association is looking to do work at the Spring Lake ballpark; to rebuild dugouts and possibly put up lights there.
Scanlon asked about extra poles that the city could give toward the project; saying they can cost around $1,000 each, and would help there.
Scanlon also asked about the possibility of making preparations for a bid to secure the state baseball tournament in 2015.
Last year, the ball club hosted 274 kids, who played 110 games, which is fantastic, Scanlon said.
Scanlon noted that the association spends a fair sum each year to keep up the ballpark grounds and wanted to know if the city could help with this.
The club pays for chalk, fertilizer and many other things, he added. “They do quite a bit down there. It’s a good field. They do a great job of keeping it up,” Scanlon said.
His ideas received a somewhat cool reception, since in the past, the council has been at odds with the association over how money was spent on the park’s maintenance, without the council knowing of expenses beforehand.
Proponents of the ballpark have criticized the council for not visiting it, even during the state tournament when Dassel hosted it a few years ago.
Wilde made a reference to these past difficulties and expressed the preference to keep the financial arrangement as it was.
Council Member Bob Lalone said an improvement budget could be made.
Council Member Pat Haapala did not comment. Council Member Alesia Warner was not present at the meeting.
Roof work may be done to city hall
Scanlon noted that the city office building has a flat roof, and this has started to leak.
Administrator Myles McGrath agreed, saying the leaks are affecting the library, too. Scepaniak has found himself pumping water off the roof, he added.
For routine maintenance, certain areas have been marked. This would amount to about $10,000 for patchwork, McGrath said.
To re-do the roof, giving it proper pitch for drainage and adding insulation, would cost $35,000. McGrath noted that money had been put away, and that it would be a good idea to do the job correctly.
McGrath said the city should go with a good quality contractor and not necessarily the low bid.
Peterson asks about planting trees
Ron Peterson, who lives on the north side of Highway 15 by the treatment plant (at the old Annabelle Johnson place), asked about planting trees for a screen to block the view of the treatment plant.
He is interested in planting evergreens and wanted to know if the city would be interested in helping him water them.
Peterson said he would like to plant trees on both sides of the land owned by the city and his family.
McGrath noted that if Peterson planted trees on his own land, he didn’t need permission from the city.
The council was receptive to the idea of trees, but further discussion will be made, with Peterson keeping in contact with Dave Scepaniak of public works.
Crest recognized for use of land for ice rink
Scepaniak went out of his way to give special recognition and appreciation to Crest Electronics for its renewal of a five-year contract for $1 with the city for a lease to accommodate the ice rink located on the south side of town at Second Street and Simons. The rink is enjoyed by many youth and adults in the winter months.
Odds and ends
In other action, the council:
• approved an agreement for building inspection services with Kevin Piepenberg, who does inspections for Meeker County. Residents should see a reduction in the cost for services, since this is a more cost-effective arrangement, McGrath said.
• approved two claims associated with the Dassel Museum work; $9,807 for ProBuild pertaining to doors, hardware and lock materials, and $11,505 for Bob Ahlgren Electric for electrical work.
It was noted that acoustics in the Community Room can cause problems if the room isn’t full of people.
• heard from Bob Wilde that the Dassel Area Historical Society, ballpark association, Red Rooster committee and others planned to meet Thursday to talk about use of the museum.
• noted that for the Red Rooster 50th anniversary, the parade route will be modified, and there will be a queen’s luncheon of the past 50 years of queens, as reported by Council Member Pat Haapala.
• decertified the tax increment financing district 5-1 and ordered the return of extra funds to the auditor that were collected, but not exclusively entitled to by the city, in the amount of $123,915. The city kept $13,763 to cover its own costs of administering the district.
The amount returned to the auditor will be re-divided amongst the school district, county, and city. The return was prompted by a business inside the district, Fulfillment Systems, that couldn’t meet TIF employment criteria.
• adopted the rules governing Community Room use at the Dassel Museum as printed previously, with the addition of a fee of $75 for any event that involves service of 3.2 alcoholic beverages. The kitchen use section was also re-worded to become a waiver.
McGrath said the museum staff have received “tons of calls.” Haapala said the city should charge more, since churches do; but it was decided to enact the initial fees and play it by ear for next year.
• noted that the replacement streetlight will arrive at the end of May to replace one of the new lights backed into by Scepaniak during snow removal.
• heard from Haapala, who requested lighting at the picnic area at Sellards Park due to the inability of neighbors and law enforcement to see who is there at night, after hours. Electrical is available there, it was noted. Scepaniak will address the issue.
Parking ordinance to change
The council is looking at tightening its existing parking ordinance in relation to trailers and the like parked on the street for several days at a time.
Scepaniak noted that last year, the city ended up with several trailers parked on the street all summer long. A standard ordinance is 72 hours long, he added.
Existing ordinance hinges on posted signs, and reads “No person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle upon the public streets of the city at any place where official signs or where appropriate devices, marks, or painting, either upon the surface of the street or curb immediately adjacent thereto, prohibit these acts. Two other ordinances pertain to parking, one that empowers the public works director to erect signage, and another that pertains to limited parking, which once again hinges on signage posted at the time.
The council talked about setting a time limit on parking with specific language.
The subject will be brought up again at the next council meeting, 7 p.m. Monday, April 20 at the council chambers in the city office building.