By Jennifer Von Ohlen
COKATO, MN Now that Cokato’s fire and ambluance departments have relocated to the station alongside 7th Street and Highway 12, a few businesses have approached the city about removing the “no parking” zones next to the old fire barn on Jenks Avenue.
The council agreed with the suggestion, and public works will be painting over the yellow curb along Jenks and 4th Street.
Council Member Carl Harju emphasized that this does not mean parking will be permitted in the lot directly in front of the old fire barn.
Parking accessibility may change after the building has been repurposed.
‘Fund balances are very healthy’
Justin McGraw of the Conway, Deuth & Schmiesing accounting firm gave the City of Cokato audit report, and described each of the fund balances as being “very healthy.”
Cokato’s total assets for 2017 were $21,844,880, a $3,067,877 increase from the previous year.
The city experienced a $24,492 decrease in its water fund cash balances, which McGraw attributed to capital acquisitions. The water fund’s total cash balance was reported at $826,248.
The sewer fund cash balance was reported at $969,590 ($841,241 for 2016).
Cokato’s revenue increased by about $20,000 from last year, sitting at $1,758,607.
Overall, McGraw said Cokato is in good financial shape.
“I expect to be back here next year giving a lot of the same information,” he stated. “Not to give it away.”
Special vehicle ordinance proposed
The council reviewed a model ordinance from the League of Minnesota Cities concerning special vehicle usage within Cokato.
Special vehicles include motorized golf carts, utility task vehicles, class 1 all-terrain vehicles, and mini-trucks.
A copy of the ordinance is available for viewing at city hall and at www.lmc.org.
The ordinance will also be posted to the city’s website at least 10 days before the next council meeting, Monday, July 9. A public hearing will take place that evening to adopt the ordinance.
Odds and ends
In other news, the council:
• accepted a $100 donation to the Cokato Fire Department from Big Time Towing;
• accepted a $200 donation to the Cokato Ambulance Department from a private citizen;
• approved a shared driveway easement at property near the north water tower;
• adopted a rezoning request for property on Pleasant Avenue;
• authorized the vacation and replacement of drainage and utility easements in Trailstone Drive’s third addition;
• accepted a Trailstone Drive lot purchase;
• accepted an election equipment agreement with Wright County;
• purchased Minnesota Department of Transportation property adjacent to the new fire and ambulance station for $1,000 (to provide additional parking and space for potential signage);
• hired public works maintenance worker Jacob Luhman; and
• approved $185,432 in claims.