By Tara Mathews
HOWARD LAKE, MN Dave Thompson took the oath of office as Howard Lake’s new police chief at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
The city council has “great expectations” for Thompson, according to City Administrator Nick Haggenmiller.
“The council and I are impressed with his structure, discipline, and leadership. We have one stellar police chief here,” Haggenmiller said.
Thompson has already immersed himself into the community through volunteering at the school and elsewhere, according to city staff.
He will officially begin his duties Friday, Oct. 11.
13th Ave crossing
Council members voted to maintain a railroad crossing at 13th Avenue, which negates funding for raising or replacing the Wright County Road 6 bridge.
“The council and I would like to express to the citizens that the city is still working at weighing options concerning the future of this intersection,” Haggenmiller commented.
Over the coming months, the council will review options to fund a quiet zone, according to city staff.
HL Lodge adjustments
The council approved modifying the assisted living facility’s loan and development agreement. Instead of dispersing $134,000 from excess tax increment funds to the developer over the course of four years as previously planned, the city will now contribute these funds as a one-time payment at the time of closing. The funds will finance public infrastructure such as water, sewer lines, and road improvements.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council
• heard referendum updates from Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Superintendent Brad Sellner.
• approved donating $1,000, in conjunction with Howard Lake Thrive, to HLWW FFA.
• approved a motion to move forward with a food service program at the municipal liquor store.
• adopted a resolution and cover letter to Wright County, asking the county to review its transportation funding policy.
• approved an assisted living facility groundbreaking ceremony, set for Thursday Oct. 10 at 4 p.m.
Citizens speak out
City council meetings offer citizens the chance to ask questions or share concerns with the council. The following citizens had some concerns for the council at its Tuesday meeting:
• Leeroy Bren, who resides on 8th Street, informed council that since road construction, he has water backing up into his garage when it rains. The resident was “tied in” with storm drains due to a contractor mistake, according to Haggenmiller.
• Troy Grimler expressed concern about possible rate increases in sewer/water bills due to inflow and infiltration issues. The council noted city staff are working on the issue.
• Sue Tighe expressed concern for garbage at the old bus garage. She lives on the property adjoining the bus garage, and said the garbage is not only an eyesore, but also dangerous.