By Ivan Raconteur
MONTROSE, MN The Montrose City Council is back to full staff with the appointment of Ryan Andreae as its newest member.
The city council interviewed seven candidates for the council seat that was vacated as the result of Council Member Andy Kauffman being elected mayor in November.
During Monday’s council meeting, Kauffman said all seven people who applied were good candidates, which made the council’s decision a difficult one.
In addition to Andreae, the council interviewed Tim Hackenmiller, Sylvia Henry, Jason Simmons, Georgina Stanley-Woidyla, Keith Roseen, and Jim Tourville.
A motion to appoint Roseen to the vacant seat failed on a 3-1 vote, with Knodel in favor and Kauffman and council members Jeff Petersen and Scott Jensen opposed.
Andreae’s appointment was approved on a 3-1 vote, with Knodel opposed.
Andreae has lived in Montrose four years, and served on the park and recreation commission for three years, most recently as chairman.
He is employed by Polaris Industries as operations manager for industrial design.
Regular council meetings reduced
Several years ago, the City of Montrose, responding to increased business due to a flood of new development, increased the regular city council meetings to twice per month.
On Monday night, in recognition of the fact the flood of development has dried up to a trickle, the council voted to go back to meeting once per month as a cost-saving measure.
The change will be effective in February. Regular council meetings will take place on the second Monday of each calendar month at 7 p.m. in the community center.
Preliminary intersection design authorized
City Engineer Brad DeWolf told the council that MnDOT has requested that cities move forward with projects that could potentially qualify for stimulus funding.
MnDOT specifically wants projects that have been through the preliminary design stage.
The project that DeWolf recommended for Montrose was an intersection improvement involving construction of a roundabout at Clementa Avenue and Highway 12.
DeWolf said engineering costs for the preliminary design will probably cost less than $10,000.
The city has already collected more than $66,000 from developers for improvement of this intersection.
The city would not need to make the improvements at this time, but DeWolf said by acting now, the city could capitalize on some grant dollars and position itself to be eligible for potential funding.
Jensen asked if there was a chance to install a traffic light instead of a roundabout.
DeWolf said an intersection control study was done previously, and a roundabout was recommended. He added that MnDOT has made a statewide effort to use roundabouts.
Jensen asked if the plans will need to be redone later if a grant is not received this year.
DeWolf said the plans could be put aside until needed, and would not have to be redone.
City Administrator Barb Swanson said the funds that have been collected from the developers cannot be used for any other purpose than improving this intersection.
The council authorized preliminary design work on the intersection.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• scheduled the local board of review Wednesday, April 15 at 7 p.m.
• tabled discussion of improvements to the city web site until the vendor can attend a meeting to make a proposal.
• approved a request to list the person responsible for each item on the council meeting agenda on a vote of 4-1, with Petersen opposed.
• authorized installation of a stop sign at the entrance to the wastewater treatment facility on CSAH 25. A temporary sign may be installed if funds are available in the budget. Otherwise, a permanent sign will be installed in the spring when a post can be put in the ground. Public Works Director Sean Diercks said 99 percent of the traffic leaving the plant is city employees. He will advise his staff to stop at the intersection.
• heard from Fire Chief Mike Marketon that the annual Montrose Firemen’s Dinner and Dance will be Saturday, Feb. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the community center, and everyone is welcome to attend.