By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN The air in Lester Prairie could soon be filled with flying saucers or disks with the opening of the city’s first disc golf course.
The city council approved a park board recommendation for the purchase of seven disc golf (sometimes called Frisbee golf) goals during Tuesday’s council meeting.
The goals resemble elevated baskets on a post with chains to stop the flight of the discs.
Like traditional golf courses, disc golf involves a course made up of “holes” of varying lengths.
In Lester Prairie, the first seven holes will be placed on the east side of the compost site road, east of the city park, along Second Avenue South.
City Council Member Bob Messer, who serves as the park board liaison, said additional goals may be purchased in the future, when funds are available and after the new water treatment facility near the course has been completed.
The city has $2,500 set aside for the project, which will cover the cost of the first goals and concrete for the bases.
Messer said he will work to get the course, which is considered a mid-size course, open prior to the Prairie Days celebration in July.
Construction projects moving forward
City engineer Jake Saulsbury provided an update on construction projects in the city.
Saulsbury said the Central Avenue overlay project is nearly complete, with only a few minor items remaining.
Saulsbury noted that this project was an overlay, not a complete street reconstruction, and existing cracks will emerge within a few years.
Saulsbury said the water main looping project, which is designed to improve flows and fire protection on the east side of the city is expected to move forward in July.
The pre-construction meeting for the new water treatment facility took place last Wednesday, and work is expected to begin soon.
The council adopted a resolution accepting the offer of the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority (PFA) to purchase a $1,864,817 general obligation water revenue note, and authorizing execution of a project loan agreement.
The package includes a 20-year loan at an interest rate of 1.78 percent. According to the PFA, this will save taxpayers an estimated $307,873 in interest costs, compared to the city issuing a general obligation bond at current market rates to finance the project.
The city previously approved the purchase of new street signs to comply with new state standards.
Saulsbury said the comment period for the new rules has been reopened, and more changes may be implemented.
The council, by consensus, agreed to wait until more information is available before moving ahead with the sign purchase.
Fire department receives grant
The Lester Prairie Fire Department received a $900 community partnership grant from CenterPoint Energy.
Dave Horsman, assistant fire chief, accepted the grant on behalf of the department.
Horsman said the grant will be used to purchase high-level extrication equipment, including ropes and carabiners, that the department will use to safely rescue people from grain bins and other locations.
He said the department has already been training for this type of rescue.
“It will be well-used,” Horsman said.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• noted that a cache used by geocaching enthusiasts was removed from the gazebo in Central Square Park for safety reasons.
• heard from operator Lee Ortloff of PeopleService that recent high flow rates at the wastewater treatment plant are due to the high level of the river and water table. When the river goes down, flows will return to normal, Ortloff said.
• declined to participate in a state performance measurement program on the grounds that the costs would exceed the benefits.
• heard from Police Chief Bob Carlson that he is working to resolve blight issues at a few properties in the city.