Fire department denied for FEMA grant money
By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN During Monday’s meeting, the Cokato City Council discussed necessary steps for placing the financing of the proposed public safety building on the November general election ballot.
Since the purchase agreement with Iron Alley, Inc. (affiliate of Design and Fabrication) to acquire the land expired in November, the council agreed to renew the purchase agreement. This will be discussed further at a workshop Tuesday, May 4 beginning at 6 p.m. (the same day as the board of equalization).
The council was also informed that the FEMA grant that was applied for (as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) was denied due to the competitiveness of the application process.
Mark and Stacey Determan, owners of the Iron Horse Bar and Grill, asked the city to place the issue of a Sunday liquor license for on-sale liquor on the 2010 general election ballot.
Mark told the council being closed 52 days out of the year, especially during hard economic times, makes it tough for business.
The council unanimously agreed to have a request for a Sunday liquor license on the November ballot.
If the council denied the request, the Iron Horse would have been able to get a petition to have the issue placed on the ballot.
Cell site update
The council decided it wanted a better offer from Unison for a cell site lease conversion program that would include more financial benefit to the city and more control of what goes on the water tower.
Council Member Butch Amundsen expressed concerns again about not having control over what is installed on the water tower.
Public Works Director Ken Bakke also informed the council of the added costs that would come when it was time for maintenance of the water tower (repair and painting) the more equipment, the more the city will be charged.
Council Member Carl Harju suggested the council and Unison come together for negotiations during a workshop, rather than going back and forth from one meeting to the next.
Marc Carlson, site development officer for Unison, was asked to have a counter proposal prepared for the workshop Tuesday, May 4.
City improvements on Wright Co. Rd. 153
The city council approved quotes for improvements to sewer manholes and curb replacements as part of the pavement restoration for Wright County Road 153.
The council approved a quote from Sundblad Construction for storm sewer/catch basin and gate valves in the total amount of $61,411.
Morris Excavating was also approved for work on the sanitary sewer manholes, including replacement or repair, in the amount of $41,000.
Council Member Wayne Murphy abstained from the vote.
The entire council awarded the bid to Joe Kelly Construction for curb replacement on Third Street and work by the railroad tracks in the total amount of $15,715.
As part of this project, the council approved a memorandum of understanding with Wright County Department of Highways. This includes a cost sharing with the city in the amount of $16,900 for the manhole rims, gate valves, and more. The county’s portion is $440,000.
It was noted that the mill and overlay portion of the project would not begin until after the Cokato Corn Carnival.
The council approved an ordinance amendment to the 2010 fees and permit schedule for non-transport ambulance services to include mileage from $7 to $10.50.
Also, the direct billing to patients for reimbursement of medical services through Accu Serve was also approved.
The would include, but not be limited to, Glucogon ($100), used for diabetic patients, and only in non-transport cases.
The council also approved the purchase of a portable rescue lift in the amount of $11,366, whether or not the city is awarded a $5,000 grant through OSHA.
City Administrator Don Levens was informed Thursday that the city was awarded the grant from OSHA for $5,000 toward the purchase.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• appointed Wayne Murphy as the city representative to the Wright County US 12 Corridor Plan Transitions Areas Team.
• approved the purchase of new aerating replacement at the waste water treatment facility and awarded the bid to Quality Flow Systems of New Prague in the amount of $55,210.
• approved the replacement of the stall doors in the bathrooms at the pool for a total amount of $4,167.
The deteriorating doors were discussed last year, but replacement of them was held off until fiscal year 2010.
• directed staff to look into collecting franchise fees from Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy as another source of revenue.
• discussed briefly the ongoing cleanup issues around the city including habitual offenders of the public nuisance ordinance dealing with property maintenance and blight. Levens asks the council to take a “team approach” when dealing with such matters. The council decided to put this on the agenda for the Tuesday, May 4 workshop.