By Roz Kohls
DASSEL, MN Dassel’s new mayor, Mike Scanlon, and the city council got busy fast last Monday to take advantage of possible federal economic stimulus infrastructure funding available in the next 90 days.
After taking the oath of office and dealing with the annual organizational appointments, the council set Thursday, Jan. 15, 6 p.m. for a workshop to plan the details of replacing watermains in downtown Third Street.
“This phase would involve the replacement of small-sized watermains in place between Highway 12 and the industrial park along Third Street. In addition to that watermain enhancement is a new water line to complete a level of looping from the new tower from Sellard’s along Pacific Avenue to a connection at Seventh Street,” City Administrator Myles McGrath said in a memo with the meeting’s agenda.
City Engineer Chuck DeWolf of Bolton & Menk said during a workshop March 10 that the watermains in Third Street are six inches in diameter. They should be replaced with 10-inch mains, to improve water distribution to the south side of town, and to increase water flow in case there’s a fire in Red Rooster Industrial Park, DeWolf said.
Public Works Director Dave Scepaniak said replacing the watermains in Third Street also will help get rid of 10 problem valves.
In addition to applying for the federal infrastructure funding, the council will consider the 2009 budget at the workshop. Dassel is expecting to lose $33,300 in local government aid in 2009, according to McGrath Dec. 22.
Prior to setting a date for the workshop, the council approved spending $550 a month for Meeker County Transit services. This is an increase from the 2008 monthly cost of $480. However, ridership increased to 1,860 in 2008, from 818 in 2007. Each bus has a capacity for 16 riders plus two wheelchairs.
Funding is already in the 2009 budget, McGrath said.
Individual riders pay $1.50 for each bus ride in Dassel, $3 for out-of-town bus rides, and $5 to Hutchinson. Individual ticket costs might increase later in the year, warned transit director, Donna Anderson.
The council also paid another $45,200 for work done so far on the $590,000 expansion of the museum in the Universal Laboratories building in Dassel. The payments were to United Building Centers of Hutchinson, Simplex Grinnell for fire sprinklers, Blair Monson Painting of Dassel, and Compton Anderson of Hutchinson for building and contracting management.
McGrath estimated the expansion will be complete between mid-February and Sunday, March 1.
During its annual organizational meeting, the council:
• designated the Dassel-Cokato Enterprise Dispatch as the official newspaper of the city.
• designated Wells Fargo of Dassel, Center Bank of Litchfield, State Bank of Cokato, Farmers State Bank of Darwin/Dassel, Northland Securities, 4-M Fund, Delaware Group-Voyager US Government Securities, Alliance Bernstein, and Wells Fargo Investments as official city depositories.
• appointed Scanlon to the Fire Department Relief Association, National Incident Management Board, Dassel Safety Committee, and DC Baseball Association; and new Council Member Alesia Warner to the Red Rooster Festival Committee and the Meeker County Transit Authority.
• increased some fees in the Dassel fee schedule. City Hall Community Room rental was increased to $50 for residents from $40; and to $75 for non-residents from $60. The damage deposit was increased to $200, from $50.
Rental for the community room in the museum expansion will be $100 for residents, and $125 for non-residents. The damage deposit will be $200.
The damage deposit for using the third floor of the museum was increased to $250, from $200.
The damage deposits were increased significantly because the city hall community room sustained a damaged floor, wallpaper, clock and menu board during group meetings in 2008, according to McGrath.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• heard a report from Meeker County Deputy Gordy Prochaska that snowmobilers have been illegally using the new Dassel bike trail constructed this summer. Seven signs from the county prohibiting snowmobiles on the trail will be installed. One will be installed at Evangelical Covenant Church, and two each at 237th, 238th and 240th streets, Prochaska said.
• listened to a report from Scepaniak urging residents to “adopt” a fire hydrant and keep it free of snow.
• received six applications for the attendant position at the skating rink. The council won’t choose an attendant, though, until after the budget workshop Thursday.