By Lynda Jensen
DASSEL, MN Jason Benzing was appointed to fill the vacancy on the Dassel City Council last Monday.
Benzing noted on his application that he felt the biggest challenges to the City of Dassel were “maintaining infrastructure, saving for future needs, reducing debt, providing a business-friendly environment, and separating wants from needs and then prioritizing those, so the budget can be met.”
Benzing has been a resident of Dassel for three-and-a-half years, and works at Landscape Structures in Delano as a quality assurance analyst.
Others who applied for the position include Justin Siltala, Kim Clancy, and former Council Member Wayne Medcraft.
The vacancy is taking place because longtime Council Member Bob Wilde is moving out of town.
Wilde made parting remarks, recommending that the newly appointed member and other members try to attend the elected official training that is offered every year by the League of Minnesota Cities.
The website at www.lmc.org is the site that provides the best up to date information regarding all facets of city government, it was noted.
Mayor Mike Scanlon recognized Wilde for his years of service and thanked him for all his efforts over the time he was in office.
Benzing will serve through next year until the seat is placed on the November 2010 ballot as a four-year term.
Utility rates to go up
During the meeting, the council was informed that there will likely be a rate structure change in the city water and sewer utility departments.
A recommendation will be more than likely made to phase in a rate increase to allow the departments to continue operating in the black.
The rate study report will be brought forward at the Monday, Nov. 2 regular meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.
EDA members appointed by council
Turning to other matters, the council appointed the following to the newly reformulated EDA: council representatives Pat Haapala and Mayor Mike Scanlon, along with non-council member commissioners Max Johnson (6 years), Dave Thomas (5 years), Rob Walters (4 years).
Dassel food shelf update
Scanlon filled the council in on what has been occurring with an effort to extend food shelf services to the Dassel community.
Larry Oberg attended the meeting, and spoke to the council regarding the need.
The item of food shelf participation will be on the next regular meeting agenda, with an anticipated attendance by Meeker County Food Shelf representatives.
LMC report given
Council Member Bob Lalone touched base briefly regarding the fall regional meeting of the League of Minnesota Cities in Willmar, which was attended by himself and Scanlon, along with Administrator Mc Grath.
Information regarding fire relief association options and available online training was a focus. Also noted was the struggle each of the communities is experiencing to cushion the effects of the current economic downturn.
This article was written with the assistance of city minutes.