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Museum director reports grant funding to Dassel City Council
July 11, 2011
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Council to look into disaster recovery plan

By Kristen Miller
News Editor

DASSEL, MN – Carolyn Holje, director of the Dassel History Center and Ergot Museum, was pleased to announce at last Tuesday’s city council meeting that the museum was awarded two significant grants.

The first grant was in the amount of $4,000 from 3M to help with general funding of the upcoming Smithsonian Institution’s exhibit, “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music,” set to open this fall.

The second grant was in the amount of $7,416 from Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council.

This grant will provide funds to complete the fence mural outside the museum on the back of the ballpark fence.

The money, which was made possible through Legacy funding, will pay for materials and artist stipends.

Holje explained that there will be eight artists with Dassel connections (to be announced at a later date) who will paint murals on each of the panels with the theme being “The Spirit and Essence of the Dassel Community.” The project is set to be completed before the 2012 Red Rooster Days.

For those who may recall, the fence currently has five murals designed by local artists featuring Dassel landscapes.

Holje told the council that many people will drive through the parking lot just to see the fence mural.

Council to make disaster recovery plan

Mayor Mike Scanlon suggested the council set forth a disaster recovery plan in the event of “mini disasters” like the one July 1.

Scanlon noted that this would ensure that the council, public works, public safety, and administration are all on the same page, such as phone numbers to call.

City Administrator Myles McGrath suggested all entities have a meeting together and then report back to the council.

It was also noted that any limbs 4 inches or smaller could be left at the curb for pick up by public works and taken to the compost, though residents are asked to deliver it themselves if they have means to do so.

All larger branches that are picked up on public property will also be taken to the compost, and any citizen interested in using it for firewood, can take it from there.

Council Member Bob Lalone suggested interested parties check with public works to see when it will be delivered to the compost.

In other related business, Holje invited the council to the July 21 flower show at the history center from 2 to 4 p.m.

She also informed them of a presentation Saturday, Aug. 20 by author Dean Urdahl on his book “Uprising,” for the anniversary of the Sioux Uprising, which is open to the public at no charge. There will also be a tour of the area through Community Education.

Law enforcement report

Deputy Gordy Prochaska reported to the council there were several ordinance violations for not having house numbers displayed; businesses, as well.

It was noted that if the ordinance is not properly followed with 4-inch lettering of a contrasting color, tickets would be issued.

Prochaska also reported that he has received several animal complaints of dogs and cats running around. He warned pet owners that if there is no tag on the animal when caught, it is taken to the pound in Litchfield.

He also noted there have been six thefts reported in June, many from unlocked vehicles.

There was also a reminder that curfew for ages 16 and under is at 10:30 p.m., and Prochaska will begin to be more strict on that, as well.

It was also noted there have been some complaints of the ballpark lights being on long after the games are done. Oftentimes, the lights remain on for people socializing, Prochaska said, which only adds to the city’s electrical expense.

Mayor Scanlon said he would speak with the Saints about this.

Cleanup commended

McGrath read the public works report from director Dave Scepaniak, who commended citizens for their great cleanup efforts.

It was reported that due to the storm, power was down from the Maple Street lift station, but was kept going by a generator. It was also noted that power had not been restored to that part of town till Monday evening.

The council was also informed that the insurance company was called and would be inspecting roofs of public buildings that week.

During that time, Council Member Bob Lalone warned residents of “storm chasers,” companies that move from place-to-place seeking business from storm victims.

Scanlon suggested a sign be posted at the city limits to require a permit from city hall for all peddlers and solicitors. The city would then allow only legitimate companies to solicit residents for work.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• was given a report from the Minnesota Department of Health on a recent water testing for lead and copper required by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The letter noted that based on the results, the public water system does not exceed the action level for lead or copper.

The city must also notify the residents where the samples were taken within 30 days.

• was informed of a joint powers agreement that McGrath drafted in regards to the Dassel-Cokato trail.

The agreement will be brought to the next trail board meeting Thursday, July 21. The agreement ensures that each entity – DC School District, City of Cokato, City of Dassel, and Dassel Township – will budget equally for repairs to the path.

• heard a written report from liquor store manager Marv Vetsch, which stated there were great sales in June, which was double the growth of last year. It was also noted that July 2 was the biggest sale day since the opening of the store.

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