By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN In a consensus Tuesday, the Dassel City Council gave the OK for ProWorks to begin executing its plans as of March 1 to open a thrift store in the vacant space next to the liquor store.
An official lease agreement will be ready for the second meeting in March.
With Mayor Mike Scanlon expected to be absent at the first meeting in March, he wanted to allow sufficient time for ProWorks to get started on the building, even before a lease agreement was drafted and signed. The goal to open the thrift store, which will be named Again & Again, is the first week of April.
At the last meeting, council members were given a business plan to review, but no concrete numbers have been determined as far as what to charge for leasing the space.
ProWorks will be responsible for paying the utilities of that portion of the building and Scanlon suggested charging only 10 to 20 percent of the thrift store’s gross profits to start, and then revisit the subject in one year.
“Getting something is better than nothing, and that’s what we’ve been getting these last few years,” said Council Member Wayne Medcraft.
City Administrator Myles McGrath will come up with a lease agreement to present to the council at the Monday, March 19 meeting.
Dassel Legion donates information center
On behalf of the Dassel American Legion, Mike Olsen presented to the council a visitor information center that the Legion donated to the city. It will be installed in the front entrance of city hall.
He also noted that the Legion is looking into a sign to add to the city hall sign located on Highway 12.
In other business, Olsen also informed the council of a statewide veterans services program, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.
According to the program’s website, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a comprehensive program that creates awareness for the purpose of connecting servicemembers and their families with community support, training, services, and resources.
In order for the city to become a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon city, the council would have to pass a resolution.
The item will be placed on next month’s council agenda for further discussion.
DC Community Education report
DC Community Education Director Perry Thinesen gave a report on the program during Tuesday’s meeting.
He noted that DC Community Education started in 1976, with a joint powers agreement between the two cities and the school district, each contributing a portion of its budget (determined by population) Cokato, contributes $14,630; Dassel, $7,370, and a match by the school district.
As far as participation, there were 926 youth from the Dassel area enrolled between January to December 2011. All together, there were 4,000 enrolled in programs during that time, which amounts to 40 percent of the population, according to Thinesen.
Overall, Thinesen said he is proud of the scope of programing that is offered in context to the budget.
Council Member Bob Lalone is the city’s liaison on the DC Community Education Advisory board, a requirement by state statute which meets four times a year to determine programming.
Compton briefly addressed the council as well on behalf of the DC Community Theatre and DC Arts Association.
With rehearsals underway at the Dassel History Center, she thanked the council for sharing the building for such events as this.
City acquires land in Summit Hills
The council approved a resolution requesting acquisition of certain tax-forfeited properties from the State of Minnesota through Meeker County within Summit Hills for public purpose.
A plat map of Summit Hills was provided to the council members showing the lots that would be used for park purposes, wetland protection, and storm water purposes.
The outlot being addressed is in block six on the west side of Summit Hills, on the southside of Hilltop Drive. It was noted that this is the same location where the Best of 12 Wagon Train event took place.
Also included in this acquisition are two outlots, B and F on Fifth Avenue, for wetland protection and storm water purposes.
More information to come regarding this acquisition.
City ordinance updates
Meeker County Attorney Stephanie Beckman addressed the council regarding a new process for deputies administering city citations.
Beckman brought forth a uniform fee schedule noting that most citations were either $25 or $50, making it consistent with neighboring towns, such as Litchfield. The lower fees were determined to be mostly in response to the nuisance ordinances and $50 or $100 fines for those taking personal safety into consideration.
For example, a “no parking where posted” citation would be $25, whereas a citation for a dangerous animal would be set at $50.
She also informed the council that all codes will be entered into the state’s database, and the city is expected to receive a portion of the fines collected for city ordinances.
Beckman will come back in March with more information including what percentage the city is expected to receive from the city citations.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• heard a brief update on the Best of (Highway) 12 committee by McGrath. He noted that the marketing plan is moving forward and information is expected to be presented to the city and chamber at the next chamber open house event in mid-April.
• was informed that the personnel committee will meet Thursday, March 1 at 7 a.m. to further discuss the city hall staff transitions.
• was given an update on the DC Regional Trail board meeting, which took place Tuesday, before the council meeting. Scanlon noted that the board will apply for another grant, which is due by March 30.
• was informed that McGrath will proceed with a grant application for playground equipment to be installed at Railroad Park, as well as trail improvements that would connect the Dassel-Cokato Regional Trail to the Meeker County trail on County Road 4 by way of Breeds Park.
• noted that the Dassel Fire Department has asked to attend the second council meeting of the month for updates.