By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN “I’m just happy to be here,” Mike Henrich said Tuesday evening, before he was sworn in as Winsted’s newest city council member.
Henrich is well known in the community, having served as police chief from 1985 to 2014.
After retiring, Henrich kept involved in the city by joining the Winsted Planning Commission. Now that he’s a member of the council, his seat on the planning commission is open.
Winsted also has vacancies on its parks commission and Economic Development Authority. Anyone interested in applying can go to www.winsted.mn.us or contact City Administrator Dan Tienter at (320) 485-2366 for more information.
Fees for 2017
At Tuesday’s meeting, the council approved city fines and fees for the new year. The water rate per 1,000 gallons is set at $3.37, and the monthly minimum is $6.11. The sewer charge per 1,000 gallons is $11.39, with a monthly minimum of $9.01.
A few additions were made since last year, such as sign permits ($50), sign impoundments ($50), and failure to clean up pet feces ($50 for a first offense), among others. Law enforcement officers are not required to give a fine, and can use their discretion on a case-by-case basis.
The council scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday, Feb. 21 to consider liquor license fees.
Public works at work
Later in the meeting, public works supervisor Dave Meyer gave an update on his department’s activities since July.
He said about 40 city trees were damaged from storms this summer, which meant time was spent on branch cleanup, stump removal, and planting of about 15 new trees in Hainlin Park.
The airport runway also needed maintenance, and 30 to 35 yards of dirt was used to fill in holes.
The city’s new holiday streetlight decorations were put up in December, and Meyer said they’ve been “flooded with compliments” about how they look.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• authorized an agreement with R. Vance Swisher for the Winsted Volunteer Fire Department strategic operations plan, with a cost not to exceed $6,500.
• scheduled a city council goal setting session for Thursday, Jan. 12 at 10 a.m. in the Vollmer Room of Winsted City Hall.
• approved a solid waste hauler licence for Randy’s Sanitation, Waste Management, and Mumford Sanitation expiring Dec. 31, 2017.
• accepted a donation from the fire department relief association to be dedicated to the purchase of first responder coats.
• went into closed session to discuss the purchase of property for a long-planned salt and sand storage shed for the public works department. Since it is landlocked, the property does not currently have an address.
• heard that the city has identified a potential site for a hotel. Tienter said specifics aren’t public yet, but more meetings with Cobblestone Hotel and Suites are planned.