Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Dassel council takes no action on water/sewer rates
APRIL 11, 2011

By Kristen Miller
News Editor

DASSEL, MN – The Dassel City Council decided to not take any action last Monday as to whether it would implement sewer and water rate increases six months sooner than originally planned.

In 2009, the council set a three-year plan that would allow the city’s sewer and water funds to become self-sufficient. The city has been compensating the gradual rate increases by using funds from its cash reserves.

The next sewer and water rate increase was scheduled to take effect in January 2012.

If the council decided to implement the rate increases six months sooner, in July, it would save the city a projected $26,000.

The water rate increases would be an additional $2.55 to the base rate, and .60 cents per 1,000 gallons. The sewer rate increases would be an additional $1 to the base rate, and .45 cents to the rate per 1,000 gallons.

Mayor Mike Scanlon noted that there was a six-year period when the city did not raise rates for sewer and water and, with the number of projects that have surfaced, including a new water tower, the city is trying to get back on track.

“It looks like this is something we’re going to have to do here,” said Council Member Jason Benzing.

The question was asked whether to table the decision for a future meeting.

“I don’t think anything is going to change between now and the next meeting,” said Council Member Alicia Warner.

Scanlon also noted the usage chart provided, which showed a 2010 reduction in water usage by 2.03 million gallons, adding that the more people conserve, the less the city makes in sales.

Though a motion to implement the rate increases six months sooner was made by Benzing, it died for lack of a second.

It was decided that the council would table this discussion and bring it up again in May.

Sunday liquor store hours

During the hearing of the liquor store report from Marv Vetsch, he reported that the Senate Finance Committee is currently looking into allowing liquor stores to operate on Sundays. Vetsch noted it’s looking at how Sunday sales could generate money at the state level.

For the City of Dassel, however, he doesn’t see much of a financial benefit.

If this law would pass at the state level, the option would be brought to the city council. If anything, the store would likely look at being open limited hours on Sunday to “test the waters.”

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• approved the purchase of two Kubota lawn mowers for the public works department at a total cost of $13,295. This was the lowest bid and includes trade-in and sales tax.

It was noted that the mowers have been replaced every three years, which is an attempt to maximize the trade values and keep the equipment in the best serviceable life cycles for city operations.

Council Member Benzing voted against this motion.

• appointed Scanlon to the newly formed regional trail board, which will oversee construction and maintenance of the trail between Dassel and Cokato.

It was noted that a board would lend more credibility to future grant applications.

• approved the purchase of a beverage dispenser and beer meister for up to $1,400 to be used in the community room at the Dassel History Center.

Scanlon noted the increase in usage of this room, and said this would allow the option of serving alcohol at various events, such as wedding receptions.

• approved a health and configuration check of the city hall computer system at a cost not to exceed $600. It was noted that the cost would be paid through the city hall budget and that there are dollars left over from the original installation last year.

Council Member Benzing voted against this motion.

• accepted findings by the planning and zoning commission during a public hearing March 22 to deny a variance request from Lars and Cherie Peterson, 510 Willis Street.

The unanimous decision by the commission was that it did not meet the tests of undue hardship.

• was informed by Scanlon that the planning and zoning commission would be looking into a building permit application at its Tuesday, April 12 meeting from Badboys Custom Cycle (on the corner of Third Street and Highway 12) for a new roof.

With needed repairs to its current flat roof, the owners are looking into a truss system with a 4-12 pitch.

It was noted that this pitch was considerably less than the roof next to it, on the former hardware store.

News and Information. Advertising and Marketing.

Advertise in over
250+ MN newspapers