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Council urges further soil testing by Dassel Co-op
AUGUST 8, 2011
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City’s concern is eventual contamination of water supply

By Kristen Miller
News Editor

DASSEL, MN – With potential harm to the city’s drinking water, the council is asking the Dassel Co-op Association to finish what it started regarding a contaminated soil issue near their bulk fuel tanks on Atlantic Avenue West.

Engineer Chuck DeWolf was at last Monday’s meeting of the Dassel City Council and said that more probing and testing is needed in the area of Fifth Street and Atlantic Avenue West to determine the extent of the ground contamination.

During the water main project in 2009, a control valve was excavated for replacement on Atlantic Avenue West. At the time of excavation, petroleum contamination was found in the soil. It was noted that the co-op’s fuel installation (bulk tanks) are within 30 to 50 feet from this area. However, the co-op believes the contamination is from a former gas station that was located in the vicinity.

It was noted that the city recently removed the pile of excavated soil, but the questions remain as to what extent the ground around it is contaminated and if it’s seeping into the city’s ground water.

More probing of the soil needs to be done on the block north of Atlantic to determine how far the petroleum has spread.

“We’re just going to have to push them,” said Mayor Mike Scanlon, adding that this has been an ongoing issue for three years.

It was noted that cost may be a factor for the co-op, though City Administrator Myles McGrath said there are reimbursements through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

Scanlon advised DeWolf to work with the attorney and have a letter drafted and sent to the MPCA and the Dassel Co-op.

History center usage policy approved

The council approved an amendment to the policy regarding usage of the Dassel History Center building and community room.

With the increased use of the facility and the addition of a beer meister, there were some necessary “tweaks” to be made. A new rate for usage was also set.

The new rate was increased from $150 to $200 a day for Dassel residents or members of the Dassel Area Historical Society. For non-residents or members, the fee will be $250.

For meetings during museum hours, the fee is $10 per hour for the conference room, and $20 for the community room. That fee is increased to $50 plus a damage deposit for after museum hours.

Regular usage by civic or fraternal organizations will be $40 per meeting, with the exception of meetings related to the city or historical society.

Language regarding liquor was added to include the sale of hard liquor be prohibited by unlicensed individuals or groups. Alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and set-ups, can be served by a licensed caterer.

In addition to usage, Scanlon suggested each key given to the renter should read “Do Not Duplicate.” He would also like a new access code given to each party for additional security.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• approved placing a six-month hold on the tax-forfeited properties at Summit Hills addition, to allow the city time put a plan in place. This would stop any potential purchase from another party. A notice will be sent to each property owner.

McGrath told the council he would like to work with the county administrator, auditor, and board commissioner on the planning process.

• approved a request by Thirsty’s Tavern to close the 200 block of Atlantic Avenue Saturday, Sept. 3 from noon to 1 a.m. for the Red Rooster Days bean bag tournament and street dance.

• heard from Marv Vetsch regarding the liquor store July sales. He noted July was off a bit in sales, but that overall he was satisfied considering the economy. Vetsch also said he was amazed to see there was a 4 percent growth for the year thus far.

• heard from Carolyn Holje, museum director, who shared a list of what the history center and community room has been and will be used for this year as requested by the council. She also noted there are already bookings in 2012 and 2014.

• approved the claims with the exception of a bill for $225 from Servin Plumbing for a facet repair at the museum. It was noted that the cost seemed extreme and it was believed the facet may still under warranty.

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