By Lynda Jensen
Third Street from Highway 12 to Simons Ave., just short of the industrial park, will be the location of a water main upgrade in the spring, according to action by the Dassel City Council last Monday.
Included in the work will be problematic sections of Pacific Avenue that have been known to cause issues for residents living there.
Portions of Pacific feature 4-inch pipes, which are undersized. A new 8-inch water main will be installed. Work will extend from Pacific to Sellards, and from Third St. over to Second St. (see map).
Bids have not been let yet, and a timeframe of the work hasn’t been set.
Engineer Chuck DeWolf noted that the city qualified for a 10 percent base grant. The whole project will amount to $600,000, not counting the railroad crossing work. Ten percent of this will be the base grant, with the rest being a low interest loan.
Mayor Mike Scanlon said this money could cover the cost of fixing the railroad crossing, for which the BNSF Railroad is only willing to pay for 10 percent and the city the remaining 90 percent. The city can pursue bids now, DeWolf said, especially since this is a good time to do this. “Contractors are looking for work right now,” he added.
In a similar project, the council approved the city to be listed on the state Public Facilities Authority’s list for 2010 in relation to replacement of the Maple Street lift station, which is the only one without a generator backup used by the city. A new one should probably be a submersible style like the others, he said.
Draft is considered for use of museum’s community room
The council also was given a draft of a policy that would govern how the public may rent the new community room, located in the new addition of the Dassel Museum.
The city is receiving requests for the room, including someone who wishes to book for May of 2010, McGrath said. Scanlon wanted to know who would do a walk-through after the event to make sure everything was in place. It was suggested to have Gerald Bollman do this, since he already does such things. For those who don’t clean up after the event, a charge of $10 per hour was suggested. Final approval of this policy will be made at a future meeting.
Seats filled on P&Z
Four seats were filled on planning and zoning, three for two-year terms Jeff Loven, Mike Enerson and Kim Clancy, and Brad Nelson for a one-year term.
All of the council members were in favor of re-instating incumbents Loven and Enerson. Deb Suchy did not seek re-appointment to the commission. Her seat was filled by Clancy, who received an endorsement from all council members except Bob Lalone.
Nelson was appointed to finish the term of Mayor Mike Scanlon, since Scanlon was position as mayor and had to leave P& Z. Nelson received endorsements from Council Members Bob Lalone, Pat Haapala, and Alesia Warner.
Former Council Member Wayne Medcraft received support only from Lalone and Wilde; which wasn’t enough to land a seat on the commission.
Process started again for buying pumper
The council also decided to move forward with the purchase of a new pumper for the fire department. Scanlon noted that financial news from the legislature would line up with this.
“We will hear by May what the legislature will do,” he observed. “I don’t see a problem with re-bidding.” Previously, the last advertisement for bids attracted only one offer, which was allowed to expire.
McGrath noted that last time, the bid process probably wasn’t long enough, being 30 days long. This time, it was decided to allow for a 60-day bid process, with the bid to be awarded the first part of July. Lalone noted that one of the bid criteria is whether a company is viable or not, to sustain such economic times.
Mayor visits with Saints manager
Scanlon also reported that he met with Saints Manager Mark Forsman about a possible net that would be installed to catch stray balls between the ballpark and the museum.
Forsman suggested an alternative supplier that would be cheaper for the net, which may be between 125 to 150 feet.
The concern is that stray balls might strike the parking lot or windows at the museum. Lalone said that insurance would cover the windows, but McGrath said with the deductible, the city could probably pay for replacement outright.
Covering the windows with protective devices would cause problems for future grant applications and like subjects, since it is on the National Register of Historic Places and changing the exterior of the building might not be allowed.
City sets cleanup day for Saturday, May 16
Curbside service will be featured at the city cleanup day, which will be Saturday, May 16.
Last year, the collection was considered a complete success. It cost the city about $2,700, since the city paid for a truck and driver, but this amount should be one-third the cost this year, since Waste Management will pay for the truck and driver, leaving the city to pay for tipping fees.
Items that can’t be disposed of include tires and heavy metal appliances. There may be a separate day set aside for collection of these items.
City pays for clamps on street poles
In other action, the council approved the purchase of seven clamp-on brackets for street poles at $135 each, for a total of $945.
“I think it’s a lot of money right now,” commented Council Member Pat Hapaala. Scanlon expressed caution about the cost and the council balked at spending the money at first, but Lalone said the money was already budgeted and should be spent to improve the aesthetics of downtown.
Lalone noted it was a small part of the overall street budget. Scepaniak noted that the city crews could service the holders, since they were low enough, rather than have it contracted out.
The council looked at lower-cost brackets for $75 per piece, but decided to go with the more expensive item offered by Scepaniak because they looked nicer. It was unanimously approved.
Odds and ends:
In other business, the council:
• approved the annual setup license for Thirsty’s Tavern.
• tabled an agreement for building inspection services with Kevin Piepenberg, who does inspections for Meeker County. The city attorney made some changes to wording that must be reviewed by the county attorney before approval.
• approved $32,246 to General Repair Service of Vadnais Heights for upgrading service pumps at the wastewater treatment plant.
• heard from Wilde about a grant via a youth employment program, hosted through DC Schools, that may be used by the city for such things as filing.
• heard from Warner that a resident along Willis wanted to establish the responsibility of maintenance for a retaining wall located on right-of-way near his property. McGrath said that it was established last year that maintenance of the wall was the property owner’s responsibility, similar to a sidewalk. The wall was originally installed by a contractor who was working on Willis when it was first built in 1980.
• noted that Scanlon and McGrath will attend the League of MN Cities annual convention June 24-26. Warner noted that she is due to have a baby in June and would not be able to attend. Registration must be made by Monday, March 23.
• approved renewal of a five-year contract for $1 with Crest Electronics for a lease to accommodate the ice rink located on the south side of town at Second St. and Simons.
• approved a resolution to support lobbying efforts by the Highway 15 coalition to support safety and capacity improvements on Highway 15.
• heard from DeWolf that the new water tower is expected to be on line in the fall.
It should be noted at the previous meeting that Scepaniak reported he accidentally knocked over one of the new street lights while performing snow removal. The pole is one of the new ones located by the railroad crossing on Atlantic Ave.