By Jennifer Gallus
“It’s bad news for us, but good news for him,” City Administrator Kelly Hinnenkamp said as she announced the resignation of Police Chief Dan Lang during Tuesday’s council meeting.
Lang accepted an investigator position at the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, and will end his duties in Howard Lake the first week of March.
The council regretfully accepted the resignation, and the city said it will discuss details regarding filling the position at the next council meeting.
“It’s a great loss for the city,” Hinnenkamp said. “We appreciate everything Dan has done for the city, and we will miss working with him.”
Lang has been the police chief for almost three years, and was a patrolman for Howard Lake for four years before becoming chief.
He leaves a list of accomplishments including updated safety equipment that he’s secured for the department such as in-squad cameras that even were featured on KSTP 5 News, automated external defibrillator (AED) donations to the schools, and more.
Lang said he is grateful to the community for its support, and appreciates the opportunities it afforded his career.
“Howard Lake is a good community with good people,” Lang said. “I’m going to miss all the contacts.”
City may purchase industrial park for $1
During a workshop that took place after the council meeting, the city discussed the possibility of purchasing the industrial park land west of town.
The land is facing tax forfeiture, and the group of investors who own it offered to sell it to the city for $1. However, the total burden to the city after taking into consideration outstanding taxes, tax penalties and interest, existing debt service, and a negative fund balance is $1,241,456.
This number does not reflect the fact that the land can then be sold by the city, thus reducing or eliminating the burden.
The council will discuss the matter further at the next council meeting.
Odds and ends
In other matters, the council:
• amended the fee schedule to include a radio-read fee for reading water meters of $10 per month, and will increase the no-read fee from $10 to $20 per month.
The city has been having a problem with residents who don’t read their meters on a regular basis, and want to try to encourage them to do so through increased fees.
• decided to dispose of the PACT 10 cable truck that has been sitting idle behind city hall for several years.
The truck is not in working order, and is costing the city $98 per year in licensing fees just to sit in the parking lot.
Some members of the council wondered why the city had been holding on to it, which is something that no one had an answer for.
• approved a contract with Minnesota Elevator for annual service to the elevator in historic city hall in the amount of $699. The contract includes the one mandatory inspection that is required annually, as well as maintenance.
Even though the elevator doesn’t get much use, the considerable amount of money that has been invested in the equipment deems upkeep necessary.