By Ivan Raconteur
MAYER, MN The volume of material available through the Carver County Library is growing, and access to those materials could become even more convenient for Mayer residents in the future.
Carver County Commissioner Jim Ische presented an update regarding things that are going on in the county during last Monday’s Mayer City Council meeting.
He also told the council, it is possible that an express library could be implemented in Mayer, similar to the one that was recently installed in Cologne.
A set of lockers would be installed, possibly between the inner and outer doors in the Mayer Community Center.
There are 20 such lockers in Cologne.
Ische explained that library patrons would be able to check out books and other materials online, and library staff would deposit them in the lockers.
The library staff would then e-mail a one-time access code to the locker to the person who checked out the materials.
The person could then retrieve the materials at his convenience using the code.
Another possibility that could make things more convenient for Mayer residents is a drive-up book drop, Ische said.
He said both the mobile library in Cologne and a drive-up book drop in Chaska have been extremely popular.
Mayer would be a good fit for these services, Ische explained, because library staff members drive past the city nearly every day, when traveling from the Norwood Young America Library to the Watertown Library.
Ische said most of the cost of the express library in Cologne was paid for by grant dollars, and he said it is likely that grant money can be found to pay most of the $30,000 cost to install an express library in Mayer.
An express library could be in place by late summer or fall 2012 if the city is interested, Ische said.
“I’d like to explore that,” Mayer Chris Capaul said.
“I think we can figure out how to fit it in if they can figure out how to pay for most of it,” he added.
Capaul noted that the express library and drive-up book drop would be a service for city residents.
“Libraries continue to be extraordinarily popular,” Ische said, adding that the state of the economy has added to that popularity.
County tax bills could go down in 2012
In other county news, Ische told the council that the county board is committed to keeping the levy flat, even though it will have to compensate for the loss of $1 million in state funding.
The preliminary levy will not be approved until September, but Ische said the average residential property tax bill will go down slightly.
Ische noted that the county’s population increased by nearly 30 percent between 2000 and 2010, and was about 91,000 at the time of the 2010 census.
The county will experience some changes as the result of redistricting, Ische said, but he predicted that no progress will be made on this until February 2012, or later.
Ische said the kickoff for the Carver County fiber project went well, and crews are busy installing conduit.
Burglaries on the rise
Deputy Chris Nelson of the Carver County Sheriff’s Office said there has been an increase in burglaries in the city recently.
Some of these have occurred at storage facilities, where the suspects cut off padlocks and drilled out door locks.
Other burglaries took place at residential garages that were left unlocked.
Items taken included furniture, tools, DVDs and CDs, and a variety of other items.
Nelson said the sheriff’s office has added extra patrols to address the issue.
He reminded residents to keep their homes, garages, and vehicles locked, and not to leave valuables in their vehicles.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved a liquor license for the business at 109 Ash Avenue North (formerly Bootleggers), applied for by Watertown resident Paul Joswich. The target opening date is Saturday, Oct. 1, and the council approved pro-rated license fees totalling $1,200.
• approved a request to close city hall Friday, Sept. 2, the Friday before Labor Day. City Administrator Luayn Murphy said she expected little walk-in traffic on that day due to the start of the holiday weekend.