By Lynda Jensen
DASSEL, MN The skyline for Dassel will be subject to change once again, as the new tower that was recently erected will be painted, and the old tower taken down, according to action at the city council meeting last Monday.
The new tower will feature an off-white color called “cloud,” with the new rooster logo, black lettering for the word Dassel, and red ropes around it (click here to see rendition).
The new tower will be online by mid-October, once testing and checks are done, engineer Chuck DeWolf said. “It’s bacteria tested, just like water mains,” he added. The old tower will be taken down in sections with a big crane.
Bicycles to be confiscated if vandalism keeps up
Vandalism and mischief prompted Deputy Sara Miller to report that the sheriff’s office would begin confiscating bicycles and enforcing existing curfews if the problems don’t end.
The curfew in Dassel is 10:30 p.m. for those under the age of 16, and midnight for those who are ages 16 and 17.
Keeping kids off bicycles at this time of night is definitely a safety issue as well, she noted. Some juveniles have been riding their bikes in the middle of the street and refusing to move over for vehicles. This is dangerous, she said.
There is a state law that dictates bicycles used after dark must have headlights and tail lights. If they don’t, and the users are out past curfew, the sheriff’s office will confiscate the bicycles, she said.
Levy stays the same
The council adopted its preliminary budget and proposed levy, with no increase in the levy from last year. The levy amount is $511,988.
The preliminary levy may go down, but can’t be raised after Sept. 15. The final levy will be approved in December.
EDA to be reformulated
Turning to other subjects, the council revived its EDA, creating a five-member body.
The newly formed EDA will featured two business owners, Dave Thomas of Jimmy’s Pizza and Max Johnson of the Farmers State Bank, as well as Administrator Myles McGrath, Mayor Mike Scanlon and Council Member Pat Haapala.
From here, a mission statement will be adopted and bylaws drafted. The EDA will allow Dassel to attract and negotiate with new businesses without being required to conduct each order of business during council meetings, which are subject to the open meeting law.
The meeting in October will finalize details, and adopt official language; 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5. The public is invited to attend the meeting to offer input about the EDA.
Bike path update
Turning to other subjects, the council heard an update by Scanlon about the bike path.
“We’re short of money and out of time,” Scanlon said, adding that three quotes came in to repair the bike path at $98,000, $99,000, and $108,000. The amount budgeted was $90,000. It was noted that quotes aren’t bids, and that this might be a legal problem.
The joint powers agreement must be made up among the cities of Dassel, Cokato, Dassel Township, and DC Schools.
“We’re kind of under the gun, here,” he said. He expressed disappointment with Cokato Township officials, since they didn’t bother to attend the last bike path meeting. The township benefits from the path, but is not willing to contribute toward it. “It’s silly,” Scanlon said.
Other council members wondered if Cokato Township could at least keep up with its existing mowing and other maintenance items.
Scanlon noted that some money has been coming in, and that both chambers are expected to donate money.
Dassel Township has said that it has money now, but not later, if the entities wait until next year.
Scanlon was concerned that repairs now wouldn’t work correctly with the temperatures and weather left in the season. He wondered if boils would develop, and a rushed job would end up being a mess.
Administrator Myles McGrath advised the council to get the joint powers agreement in order first.
To this end, McGrath volunteered to spur along the process for the joint powers agreement.
It is expected that repairs will take place next year.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• noted that the railroad crossing at Third Street should be repaired by Burlington Northern in mid-October.
• approved a down payment of $150,000 for the new fire truck ordered, which will earn the city more money in interest (6 percent) than now (2 percent), due to the arrangement offered through the company.