By Lynda Jensen
DASSEL, MN After seven years of service, longtime Council Member Bob Wilde submitted his resignation to the council last Monday, due to an expected move out of town, since he has built a house in the country with his wife, Amy.
The resignation prompted the council to begin a search for a candidate to replace him, with this appointment expected to take place by middle of next month.
Wilde’s resignation takes effect Tuesday, Oct. 20, or the day after the second October council meeting.
The council is expected to appoint someone 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19 (it has another meeting in October, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5).
The council is accepting applications for those interested. The appointed candidate will serve through next year until Wilde’s seat is placed on the November 2010 ballot as a four-year term.
Trade made with county for road care
The council also approved a trade agreement with Meeker County that would have the city take over three blocks of county road located in downtown Dassel.
The three blocks in question are Atlantic Avenue from Fourth to Second streets, and Second Street from Atlantic to Highway 12 (the road in front of the fire hall).
In return, the city is asking:
• overlay of 730th Street from Meeker County Road 6 to Highway 12.
• reconstruction of the storm water catch basins at the intersection of First Street and Lake Avenue.
• Overlay of the three blocks being traded.
Mayor Mike Scanlon noted the overlay would be an inch-and-a-half thick.
The county will still plow 730th and maintain County Road 6, it was noted. Basically, downtown will be done by city staff, it was noted.
The road in question, CSAH 41, was originally designated as a county road in the first place because of the fire hall’s location, confirmed Meeker County Engineer Ron Mortensen. “In 1956, they made a point of doing that,” Mortensen said, saying that county roads were designated along fire halls to ensure maintenance of those roads.
Nowadays, the city has its own public works, which can do the job just fine, he added.
Also as a side note, Mortensen identified Old Highway 15 as being where Fourth Street S. is, to Seventh Street SW, which then connects to the modern-day Highway 15.
The county is expected to approve the trade at its Monday, Oct. 5 meeting.
Bike path update
Turning to other subjects, the council heard an update by Scanlon about the bike path.
The work has been postponed until next year, falling short of funds for repairs, since the quotes came in $10,000 more than expected.
As far as maintenance, the committee is looking to see if the original agreement made among the cities of Cokato, Dassel, townships of Cokato and Dassel, as well as the Dassel-Cokato School District will serve as a joint powers agreement, since it would be duplication to re-adopt the same type of agreement again.
Administrator Myles McGrath said a legal opinion is being sought.
The original joint document, signed in the 1990s, mentions mowing and financial obligations, but is vague on other details.
“I read through it the first time, and thought, ‘OK, everybody is in.’” Scanlon said of the original joint agreement. “But when I read it the second time, I thought it was geared more for building (the path new).”
Scanlon noted that Cokato Township was once again absent from the meeting.
Cokato Township official Dean Mahlstedt had told the Enterprise recently that the township’s budget is locked in through 2010.
The bike path committee will continue to pursue grant possibilities.
Donations are coming forth, Scanlon said.
The public is being asked to contribute about $4,000 toward the estimated $89,000 needed to fix the bike path. This represents about 4.5 percent.
Those who are interested in donating toward the path may make checks out to DC Schools (tagged for the bike path), and send to: DC Schools, PO Box 1700, Cokato, MN 55321.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• heard from McGrath that the city expects to take down the old tower yet this year. Scanlon noted work on the new tower is progressing nicely, and that contractors have been painting the inside and outside of the new tower. The exterior is showing a base coat for now, he added.
• heard from Scanlon, who congratulated the new ambassadors, Evan Babekuhl and Christa Juntunen.
• approved a resolution granting strong beer sales to Thirsty’s Tavern (see separate article).
• noted that McGrath, Lalone and Scanlon will attend the nearest meeting for the League of Minnesota Cities Thursday, Oct. 8 in Willmar.
• observed that there will be a Republican candidate forum Sept. 23 in Litchfield.
• renewed an annual lease with a property owner to the north of the Dassel Museum, which is used as a parking lot, for a nominal amount.