By Lynda Jensen
DASSEL, MN A major water leak has been repaired in private water lines at the Westview Terrace mobile home park in Dassel, according to city council action last Monday.
The leak amounted to 1,000 gallons per day, and was located under the trailer owned by Connie Hurley, who is a familiar face around town as an employee at Gary’s Family Foods.
It was previously thought that Hurley’s trailer would need to be moved. It was uncertain if the trailer would survive the move, due to its age.
Nevertheless, the leak was fixed without moving her trailer, to the relief of many. “It couldn’t go any better,” Mayor Mike Scanlon said.
The water was shut off from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., which was the shortest amount of time estimated.
Norberg Excavating did the work. The cost is being tabulated by the city, but will be billed according to time and materials. The city will look to recoup its costs with the property owner.
Purchase of acoustic equipment tabled
The council turned its attention to the community room acoustic problems at the Dassel History Center.
Although the decision was tabled, the council reviewed a number of options for curing the noise echo reverberation problems at the community room.
The ceiling options ranged from a suspended ceiling, which was the cheapest option at $11,425, to fabric wrapped panels at a cost of $19,765.
The suspended ceiling option, which is estimated at $8,425, would require an additional $3,000 or more in additional costs, due to the need to lower ceiling fixtures such as sprinkler heads, duct work, speakers, lighting, and the like, Administrator Myles McGrath said.
The next viable option, and the recommendation of the Dassel Area Historical Society is a 12”x 12”x 3⁄4” acoustic tile over the entire ceiling, direct- glued at a cost of $10,450, with an additional cost of $760 for light fixture adjustments. This option allows for manageable adjustments of all other suspended items by the ceiling contractor, McGrath said.
Another option is priced at $17,160 to $19,765, and would apply a 1-inch or 2-inch fabric-wrapped panel to approximately two-thirds of the ceiling. This option would also come with additional costs to adjust ceiling fixtures, as well.
Mayor Mike Scanlon said he would like quotes from more than one contractor.
It was noted that DAHS wanted to use contractors who knew the building already and had done work before.
“When you’re spending other people’s money, you need to make sure it’s the best bargain,” Scanlon said.
It was debated whether the whole room needed to be fitted with acoustical tiles, or if one portion would do, since Council Member Bob Lalone noted that his dad, who was a band instructor, used ceiling and styrofoam-type acoustics side-to-side on the band; not over the whole building.
In order to fit acoustic panels on the ceiling, the light fixtures and other items will need to be lowered.
The subject was tabled until more information could be gathered.
Museum Director Carolyn Holje also reported to the council a number of items.
The historical society received a microfilm grant from the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants through the Minnesota Historical Society in the amount of $469. This grant completed the DAHS’ microfilm collection of the Dassel newspapers, beginning in 1893 through July 7, 2009, when the Minnesota Historical Society stopped microfilming Minnesota newspapers.
The DAHS already had microfilms through 1997.
In addition to the Enterprise Dispatch microfilms from 1998 to July 7, 2009, the grant included films of the Meeker County News 1918 and 1871-1874, and the Litchfield Ledger 1872-1874, when apparently there was no newspaper in Dassel, she noted after the meeting.
The DAHS is also applying for another grant to the same entity for shelving, she added.
Planning commission seats to be filled
Two seats are open on the planning commission, those of Jack Adams and Brad Nelson. The seats are both two-year terms.
So far, Jack Adams, Billy Wallace, and Wayne Medcraft have applied for the open positions.
The council is in the process of accepting applications for the spots, with the deadline being Wednesday, March 10.
LGA cuts noted
McGrath noted that cuts in local government aid (LGA) are expected to be another $72,000, with $66,000 being cut already. “It’s a huge piece of our budget,” he observed.
A budget workshop was set for 6 p.m., Thursday, March 11 to discuss this and other budgetary subjects.
Bill Ward visits with city council
Bill Ward, administrator at Lakeside Health Care Center, appeared before the council. He distributed a report on the past history and process of the transfer of the Lakeside Campus to Augustana Care from the City.
Several current council members were not involved in that work, and Ward indicated that Augustana has recently identified a fair amount of misinformation in the community regarding the transaction. These include reasons for the transaction, the commitments of Augustana, and the city’s current liability for the bonds issued.
He indicated his intention to give members time to read the report and he would then return at the next meeting, 7 p.m. Monday, March 15 for further discussion.
Traffic congestion at Dassel Elementary
The council also discussed traffic congestion along Guy Street on the east side of Dassel Elementary. Please click here to check out a separate article written about this subject.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• heard a suggestion from Lalone that ice rink boards be set up around the rink next year. “It’s getting a lot of use,” Scanlon said.
Lalone asked if grants or donations toward the hockey boards might be made.
Scanlon indicated he would check into the hockey boards.
• noted that the new fire truck is expected to arrive by the end of April.
• discussed the idea of charging for fire calls at $250 per response, which is usually covered under a homeowner’s insurance. There are approximately 200 calls per year.
Lalone questioned this idea, saying that his homeowner’s policy only allows so many claims. “I could have my insurance dropped,” he said.
McGrath noted that this would primarily apply to real fires or extrication for accidents, and not incidentals. Usually, insurance agents are surprised that Dassel doesn’t charge like this, since other cities do, he said.
Homeowner insurance rates shouldn’t go up as a result of this, he said.
Lalone disagreed, stating that he thought that rates overall would go up.