By Ivan Raconteur
HOWARD LAKE, MN Howard Lake Librarian Deb Cox-Johnson told the city council Tuesday that out of the 32 branches in the Great River Regional Library, Howard Lake was one of eight that recorded increased circulation last year.
During her annual report, Cox-Johnson said that despite cuts in Legacy funding, the library has worked hard to expand its outreach.
One way it has done this is through school presentations during which students were introduced to resources available at the library, including study and testing databases to help students prepare for tests.
The library serves patrons of all ages, from the “1,000 books before Kindergarten” program, to helping to start a book club for residents of the Lodge of Howard Lake.
Parking lot enhancements
The council approved plans and specifications for downtown parking lot enhancements.
The goal is to improve traffic patterns and general aesthetics of the municipal parking lot between city hall and the fire station.
Among the enhancements are a decorative fence in the lot, and addition of a drive-by mailbox behind the post office.
Fire department officers approved
The council approved fire department officers for 2017, including Daryl (Taddy) Drusch, chief 1; Glenn Hofer, chief 2; Keith Bobrowske, chief 3; Craig Loebertmann, captain; Eric Stoll, captain; Scott Graham, captain; Joe Sherod, secretary; Jake Drusch, ambulance director; and Brian Kittock, assistant ambulance director.
Chief Daryl Drusch noted there are currently 25 members on the roster, including six who have served the department more than 20 years.
Community service officer approved
The council approved the addition of a part-time community service officer (CSO) to the Howard Lake Police Department.
Police Chief Dave Thompson said the council previously approved the addition of an administrative assistant, but, after doing more research, he determined a CSO would provide more benefits to the city at about the same cost.
The department can use a CSO for code enforcement, transportation of evidence, traffic control, and more.
In addition, City Administrator Nick Haggenmiller noted the CSO can take care of some low-level administrative duties, which will free up time for the police chief to work on other priorities.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved a one-year contract extension with Conway, Deuth & Schmiesing for audit services.
• approved the scope and fee for services for surveying for the Munson Lakes redevelopment project, and accepted the quote of $3,500 from Otto Associates.