By Tara Mathews
HOWARD LAKE, MN Howard Lake City Council approved a bid during Tuesday’s meeting to paint the north water tower.
The council received bids from Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls, SD, and Champion Coatings of Savage.
The Champion Coatings bid of $31,200, was significantly lower than Maguire Iron’s bid amount of $39,800, according to Public Works Supervisor Tom Geopfert.
The bid includes power washing, cleaning failed coatings, rust removal, application of epoxy to bare metal, and application of high solids aliphatic polyurethane paint.
If the council decides to leave the current lettering, the project is expected to cost $29,400; and if it decides to modify the lettering, the project is expected to cost $31,200.
Council will use the time before the contractor arrives to determine final lettering for the tower, Mayor Pete Zimmerman said.
The council heard an audit report from Darrin Ogdahl of Conway, Deuth, and Schmiesing.
The city received a clean or unmodified audit report for 2013, which is the best possible report, according to Ogdahl.
There was an increase in the city’s total assets and current assets.
The increase in current assets is mostly due to the Lodge of Howard Lake, Ogdahl said.
Howard Lake has an 11-month cushion in the general fund, which is better than the state’s recommendation of six months, he added.
Water and sewer revenues increased due to a reimbursement the city received.
Howard Lake is in total compliance of Minnesota standards, Ogdahl noted.
There were two weaknesses found during the audit; segregation of duties, and financial statements are not auditor prepared.
Howard Lake has been working on the organization and segregation of duties, according to City Administrator Nick Haggenmiller.
The municipal liquor store has experienced a loss in revenue the two preceding years, and council will need to conduct a hearing regarding the loss, Ogdahl reported.
He recommended the city continue reviewing liquor store operations.
A point-of-sale program will be installed for the liquor store soon, which will help with review and organization of liquor store finances and sales, Haggenmiller noted.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• heard a report from council member Al Munson regarding the Wright County cities joint powers agreement.
There were 14 in attendance at the first meeting, which included nine cities, Munson said.
A MnDOT representative and Trailblazer Transit representatives were present, as well.
Trailblazer will begin serving Functional Industries July 1, and will “ramp up” the service over time, beginning with cities that previously had service with River Rider.
Trailblazer will expand service to cities that did not have previous service when they have enough drivers hired and buses available, Haggenmiller added.
• approved a request for a street dance and Howard Lake Police Department services at Codger’s Cove.
The event will take place Saturday, June 28 from 7 to 11 p.m.
Reserve officers will be on-site from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Codger’s Cove has agreed to pay $200 for the HLPD services.
• approved a bid from Northwest Metro Stucco of Monticello for stucco repair on the back side of the city hall building.
The repair will cost $3,100, which is within the city’s building maintenance budget.
• approved a bid from Snick’s Signs of Jackson for $14,090 to construct a “welcome to Howard Lake” sign.
A majority of the funds for the sign will come from Howard Lake Thrive’s budget, according to Haggenmiller.
• approved a funding request from Howard Lake Watershed Alliance for $1,000 to help with treatment of aquatic invasive species.
The watershed alliance will target 30 acres of milfoil, according to Haggenmiller.
• appointed election judges for the Aug. 12 primary election. They are:
Deputy Clerk, Jennifer Nash, head judge; Gene Gilbert, Ron Miller, Cathy Maynard, and Jean Schmidt.
• approved two new Howard Lake Fire Department volunteers, Brian Kittock and Zachory Drusch.
• approved a new part-time municipal liquor store employee, Jason Buchmann.
• approved a liquor license renewal for Troubles on the contingency that Troubles submits all required materials and payment before the end of June, which is when its current liquor license expires.