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Cokato Council approves a 0.5 percent preliminary levy decrease
SEPT. 20, 2010

By Jennifer Kotila
Staff writer

COKATO, MN – Cokato City Council approved a preliminary levy of $1,021,469 for 2011, which is a 0.5 percent decrease from the 2010 levy of $1,026,981.

Salaries for city employees are frozen for the 2011 budget year. “The budget is basically flat-lined from last year,” said Cokato City Administrator Don Levens. “It is in maintenance mode, maintaining the delivery of services,” he said.

Council approves purchase of new tandem dump truck

The council approved the bid from Nuss Truck and Equipment of Roseville for the purchase of a 2010 Mack GU713 truck and Towmaster of Litchfield for the tandem dump.

Council members Butch Amundson and Gordy Erickson have had several meetings with Cokato Public Works Director Ken Bakke about a new tandem dump truck.

The dump truck that they have now is a 1991 Ford that has “seen its days,” noted Amundson. The current dump truck is only capable of carrying a half-load of salt, pointed out Erickson.

Although the bid for a 2011 7600 SFA International from Astleford Intl. Trucks was less than the one for the Mack by about $4,000, it has a brand new engine which has not been tested, pointed out Amundson. “I don’t want to test an International,“ he said.

The council has been setting aside money each year for the purchase of a new dump truck for the city, however, they will have to use about $44,000 out of the sewer fund to help pay for it.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• heard a report from Corn Carnival Committee Chair Dorene Erickson.

This year was hot, humid, and rainy, so the numbers were kind of low, she said. “From what I hear from the concessions that were down there, everybody was down about 20 percent,” she said.

The committee was appreciative of some new equipment at this year’s Corn Carnival including a new runway for the stage and new light stands.

Jason Kalif from public works helped with designing some new equipment and remade one of the information booths.

Erickson thanked Faribault Foods for the donated corn, and Village Ranch for husking it.

• recognized Village Ranch for outstanding contributions to public service. The Village Ranch “saved our skin a couple of years ago when we were short corn huskers,” noted Cokato Mayor Bruce Johnson. They have been helping with the husking every year since, which has taken much pressure off the Corn Carnival Committee, he said.

This is a “great partnership, excellent way for these guys to give back to the community,” said Bill Salmela, employee of the Village Ranch.

• approved the ordinance amendments regulating transient merchants and peddlers. The amendments replaced chapter 114 with a more comprehensive ordinance regarding transient merchants, peddlers, and solicitors.

• approved the bid of $18,200 from Brandel Electric LLC of Cokato to replace seven light poles located on Third Street in downtown Cokato to match those on Broadway Avenue.

• approved the bid of $33,090 from Sundblad Construction to reverse the flow of storm water from the railroad tracks near Mooers Avenue back into the city’s system.

The storm sewer near the railroad tracks has collapsed and there is a 4- to 5-foot hole that is getting bigger with each rain, according to Bakke.

To replace the storm water outlet where it is now requires a permit from the railroad, the contractor would have to attend a safety class at Burlington Northern, and a railroad inspector would have to be on-site while the project was being completed, all at the city’s expense.

When the Third Street project was done, a pipe was stubbed out from Mooers Avenue in order to reverse the flow and bring the storm waters back into the city’s system, said Bakke.

Because of this, Mooers Avenue from Third Street to Second Street will be completely repaved.

• approved a bid of $18,050 from Morris Excavating to replace the sewer main in Industrial Park Boulevard.

The current sewer main is only a 4-inch pipe, which was sufficient at the time it was put in because it only served one restroom at the Olsen Chain and Cable building, Bakke said.

Now, after the Cenex expansion, the 4-inch pipe is too small for the volume of sewage going through it.

In addition, the city does not have the equipment to handle cleaning out a plug in a line that small, its equipment is for bigger lines, so the 4-inch pipe has to be replaced, according to Bakke.

• heard information about a brochure for promotion of a new public safety building which will be on the election ballot in November.

• set a special workshop session for Monday, Sept. 27 at 4 p.m. on Forsman Industries’ waste water permit.

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