By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN Winsted wouldn’t be the same without people like Dale Gatz, Tim Purcell, Jon Davidson, Jamie Stender, Brady Tormanen, Todd Koch, Justin Hertzog, and Troy Scherping.
These volunteers were recognized at the May 2 Winsted City Council meeting for 10, 15, 20, or 30 years of service on the Winsted Fire Department.
“You guys are so giving of your time and so selfless and so committed to this I can’t thank you enough,” Council Member Patty Fitzgerald commented.
The fire department operates with a roster of up to 30 all-volunteer members, providing fire suppression services, fire cause determination, fire prevention education, cold water rescue, auto extrication, hazardous materials response, Skywarn spotting, and Minnesota licensed daycare inspections.
Firefighters also respond to medical emergencies in Winsted and portions of the surrounding townships.
A total of 263 calls were received in 2016. A record was set in 2015, with 294 calls.
Council Member George Schulenberg said he encourages the public to stop by the Winsted Fire Hall to check out recent changes firefighters have made.
Anyone 18 and older who’d like to become a member of the fire department can apply at Winsted City Hall.
Prospective firefighters must pass physical and written tests, an interview, and a background check. Once accepted, new members have two years to obtain Firefighter 1 certification.
Fire hall parking lot
In other fire department matters, the council approved a partial parking lot rehabilitation project at the fire station, at a total cost of $138,857. The construction portion is $120,745.
The quote was provided by R&R Excavating, the company that is under contract for the Kingsley Street improvement project. Work on the parking lot was approved as a change order to the Kingsley Street project. Because the cost is less than 25 percent of the original project, the city was not required to go out for bids.
At the work session prior to the regular council meeting, discussion centered on replacement of the city’s industrial snow blower, which has been in use since 1994.
Public Works Supervisor Dave Meyer said the snow blower worked well for many years, but now the auger blades have deteriorated, the discharge chute no longer rotates, and other components have worn out.
A quote for a new snow blower from Trueman Welters in Buffalo came in at $73,962, including a trade-in of $3,500 for the old snow blower.
The council’s plan is to approve the purchase at the next regular council meeting.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• amended city code to allow the off-sale of liquor on Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. effective July 1. Consistent with state recommendations, the amendment includes the prohibition of the delivery, merchandising, and/or order solicitation by a wholesaler on Sundays.
• authorized Bargen Incorporated to maintain certain streets for an amount of $2.40 per pound of sealant installed, not to exceed $14,000.
• authorized City Administrator Dan Tienter to send a letter to the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority (PFA) regarding Winsted’s application for drinking water infrastructure funding.
• accepted a grant from the Minnesota City/County Management Association (MCMA) for up to $3,500 for the cost of employing an administrative intern.
• accepted $2,500 in gambling proceeds from the fire department relief association to be dedicated to the park fund.
• accepted $300 from the Winsted Area Chamber of Commerce to be donated to the Winsted Holding Activities that Unite People (WHAT UP) organization.
• approved an application for the Winsted Lake Watershed Association to conduct excluded bingo at the Blue Note Ballroom Thursday, Oct. 19, contingent upon providing proper documentation from the state.
• heard an update on chamber of commerce activities from President Jeff Campbell. The organization conducts multiple events throughout the year, and is always looking for ways to better serve its members. The next membership lunch meeting will take place Thursday, May 18 from noon to 1 p.m. at Herald Journal Publishing/Greater Minnesota Communications.
• heard that a Winsted Police Department open house is set for Saturday, May 20 from 9 a.m. to noon.