LESTER PRAIRIE, MN After 16 years on the city maintenance staff, Adam Birkholz will be moving indoors soon, after accepting Lester Prairie’s new community development coordinator position Tuesday.
The target date for the transition is Thursday, Oct. 1, but the timing will depend on reconstruction that is underway at city hall to create additional office space, and on the city hiring a maintenance worker to replace him.
When he begins the newly-created postion, Birkholz will receive a salary of $50,960.
His salary will increase to $57,200, effective June 1, 2016, upon successful completion of degrees in interdisciplinary studies and urban regional studies.
The council heard from the Lester Prairie Trail Committee that the funds raised would allow development of a usable gravel surface on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail beyond what has already been approved for Phase 1.
After discussion, the council approved extending the trail from McLeod County Road 9 to Pine Street at a cost of $7,550.
The vote was 4-1, with council members Ron Foust, Bob Messer, Tim Dahl, and Larry Hoof in favor, and Mayor Eric Angvall opposed.
Angvall noted the committee has not provided a plan for the entire project, which the council asked for in July. He also noted Phase 1 is not yet complete, and the committee is asking for approval to go beyond that.
Members of the trail committee said there is momentum in support of the project, and they want to keep it going.
In other trail business, the council adopted a resolution of support for the State of Minnesota funding the Lester Prairie extension of the Dakota Rail Regional Trail.
Committee members hope the trail can be paved from the Carver County border west through the city to McLeod County Road 1 if the project receives state bonding funds.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• heard a report from Ashle Lukes regarding her experiences representing the city at the Minneapolis Aquatennial.
• approved advertising for a maintenance employee to replace Birkholz at a starting wage of $16 to $19 per hour, depending on qualilfications.
• scheduled a budget meeting Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m.