By Linda Scherer
WINSTED, MN The Winsted City Council approved an increased 2009 fee schedule at Tuesday’s council meeting.
However, the increase in Winsted’s sewer and water rates are still below other area cities.
The 2008 water rate of $2.20 (per 1,000 gallons) was increased to $2.50. The sewer rate for 2008 was $5.05 (per 1,000 gallons) and was increased to $5.25.
The combined increased 2009 rate of $7.75 (per 1,000 gallons) for the sewer and water still puts Winsted below other cities in the area like Waverly at $11.40; Cokato at $10.13; Lester Prairie at $9; and Howard Lake at $8.63.
The increases will allow the city to begin to financially plan for state-mandated improvements to include lagoon mitigation, grit removal and possible phosphorus treatment.
Other areas that increased in 2009 are in equipment rental and park dedication for commercial and industrial properties.
Rental housing license on hold on 1st Street N
A rental housing inspection of four residential units at 145 1st Street North Nov. 18 found major code violations needed to be corrected before the owner was able to obtain a rental housing license.
The code violations included structural deficiencies of a back stairs/porch system.
The property owner, Darrell Lachermeier, and Joe Caouette, owner of Jimmy’s Pizza which is in the building, are having a structural engineer look at the property and report to the city by Monday.
The city is waiting to hear the results of the structural engineer’s findings and will decide a course of action at that time.
Five vehicles restricted to a property
The council reviewed and approved an ordinance which allows the parking/storage of five vehicles on a residential property following the recommendation of the planning commission.
There was a lot of discussion at the city council meeting Jan. 6 on whether the ordinance was needed. After all the council members, the mayor and the city attorney made comments regarding the ordinance it was sent to the planning commission to review.
The planning commission looked at the ordinance Jan. 14, which Council Member Tom Ollig said caused a “spirited discussion.”
The planning commission agreed to the ordinance with the maximum amount of vehicles being increased from four to five on a 4-1 vote.
The approved ordinance states no more than five vehicles or similar devices be parked or stored anywhere outside a permanent building.
Vehicles parked in the front yard area must be on a paved or gravel surface.
Vehicles are exempt from the front-yard provision from November through March of each year.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved the appointment of Matt Williams as a member of the Winsted Fire Department.
• accepted a contribution from gambling proceeds from the Winsted Volunteer Fire Department Relief Association in the amount of $25,000 to be dedicated to the bond payment for the Fire Hall.
• approved the pledged securities that Flagship Bank of Winsted has purchased for the City of Winsted for the month of January 2009 in the amount of $1,750,000 and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the amount of $250,000.
• was informed the city has had a good response to the citizen’s survey that went out with the city billing. The results of the survey will be used to set city and council goals for 2009.
• listened to a report from Police Chief Mike Henrich. Henrich said Officer Dan Pohl will be attending a week-long school for crime prevention and when he has completed the course, plans are to begin a neighborhood watch program.
Attention all dog owners
According to Winsted city ordinance, all dogs must be licensed. This license must be renewed on Jan. 1 of each year, and expires on Dec. 31 of each year. Stop into city hall to have your dog licensed for 2009.
In addition to being licensed, all dogs and cats within the City need to be vaccinated at least once every three years for rabies and distemper.
The dog’s current vaccination records should be brought to city hall when applying for the license.