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Dassel City Council hears requests for funds, Red Rooster volunteers
July 21, 2017

Nan Royce
Staff Writer

DASSEL, MN –There’s a lot going on in the city of Dassel. The Dassel City Council learned at its meeting Monday evening, that several planned projects could use a little assistance.

Rooster volunteers required

Red Rooster Days’ Grande Day Parade Chairman Larry Oberg addressed the council, and updated members on the parade route and related temporary road closures.

Oberg stated additional volunteers are needed to help residents and spectators in, out, and around Dassel the afternoon of the parade, Saturday, Sept. 2. The parade is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

Oberg indicated the celebration is most in need of volunteers to handle traffic on Highway 12, Fifth Street, Willis Street, 240th Street, and near the cemetery. He said four to five people are also needed to help work during the parade.

Mayor Ron Hungerford, already serving in several capacities during Red Rooster Days, put out an official call for assistance.

“We need volunteers for all aspects of Red Rooster Days,” he commented, and urged anyone interested to contact city hall for details.

The mayor also noted the next Red Rooster Days Committee meeting is slated for Thursday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. at city hall.

Fishing fun for everyone

Long-term Dassel resident David Backs addressed the council next. Backes has been a resident of Dassel since 1958, and has volunteered at the nursing home for the past two decades.

He informed the council he was spear-heading an effort to have a handicapped-accessible fishing pier installed in Spring Lake Park.

Backes said he had talked to Department of Natural Resources staffers who were on board with the fishing pier concept.

“The pier would be accessible for people using walkers and wheelchairs,” he said. “It’d be a big addition to that beautiful park.”

The only hurdle stalling the project is funding.

The DNR estimated the fishing pier would cost approximately $35,000.

Backes was present to inquire about potential financial support from the city.

Councilors expressed interest in the project, but stated they had funding issues of their own. “Perhaps we can address the pier in the 2018 budget,” City Clerk Treasurer Terri Boese commented.

Doughty works for Dassel fire dog mascot

Dassel firefighter Matt Doughty was the next to approach the council. He is working on raising funds to purchase a Fire Dog Mascot costume to be used in conjunction with the numerous educational events the firefighters teach, as well as for use during fire safety week in October.

Doughty said half of the mascot’s $3,000 cost had already been donated by Dassel businesses. He also plans to raise additional funds by running a dunk tank during the chicken feed at Red Rooster Days.

He inquired if the city would be willing to make a donation toward the project.

Council members discussed the idea at some length, noting the mascot project had a six to eight-week build-time.

Mayor Hungerford eventually made a motion to donate $500 toward the purchase of the Fire Dog Mascot costume, so that it could be ordered to arrive in time for autumn events. The motion carried unanimously.

Vacation granted

The council approved a petition allowing the vacation of a 22.2 foot-by-90 foot alley located in the Westview Terrace Mobile Home Park, owned by Donald MacKay, Jr.

MacKay was the only citizen present during the public hearing on the matter, held earlier in the evening.

Equitable pay enforced

Boese reported the State of Minnesota sent a letter regarding a preliminary review of the city’s pay equity report.

Boese said the letter indicated the city was still out of compliance, due to a variance of 31 cents per hour between a male and a female employee within the same job class.

The council elected to increase the salary of the female worker by 31 cents per hour to come into compliance with state standards.

The council also approved a request for information form to be used by city employees and residents, and approved a job description for a part-time museum custodian.

Odds and ends:

In other business, the council:

• heard the city fire department responded to 20 calls during the month of June, bringing the total number of calls since the beginning of 2017, to 140.

• learned that the sheriff’s office responded to a total of 58 calls during the month of June. Plans are underway for National Night Out Tuesday, Aug. 1, with a location yet to be determined.

• reviewed the municipal liquor store manager’s report and learned sales were up 12 percent over last year.

Liquor Store Manager Marv Vetsch’s written report also indicated that Sunday sales on July 2 – the first legal Sunday to sell liquor in the state of Minnesota – far exceeded expectations. Vetsch wrote that liquor store employees rang up approximately $1,000 an hour in sales between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

• elected to accept the City of Litchfield’s bid of $130 per hour for city storm drain basin cleaning.

• voted to accept Automatic Systems’ bid of $31,340 to replace the obsolete and non-functioning water tower pump control panels.

• amended the existing Planned Unit Development (PUD) of Summit Hills to allow pergolas on a common lot on Sunrise Circle.

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