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HL City Council reviews city’s COVID-19 response
March 20, 2020

HOWARD LAKE, MN – The Howard Lake City Council, during its meeting March 17, explained the preventative measures the city is taking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Our facilities have been closed in the interest of preventing exposure,” Mayor Pete Zimmerman said. “You are welcome by phone, email, and appointment in some instances. The senior center and library are closed until further notice.”

He announced there will be no utility disconnections until further notice, and noted that while Howard Lake Wine & Spirits remains open, business hours have been reduced, and staff are practicing heightened sanitizing procedures.

“Please shop local when you can, support all of our local businesses and surrounding communities, and check on your neighbors – within a safe distance,” Zimmerman said. “And keep yourself healthy.”

Alley change

Assistant City Administrator Meagan Donahue explained that Jeff Schoess from Eden Medical, located at 824 6th St., recently raised a concern about large trucks using the alleyway next to his business to access the loading dock at Howard Lake Foods. She described how large trucks typically enter the alley from Highway 12, and Schoess was concerned about damage to the overhanging roof on Eden Medical.

“To clarify, when [truck drivers] are coming from the west and turn right into the alleyway, they cut the corner too tight, and literally clip the Eden Medical building,” City Administrator NickHaggenmiller said.

Donahue described how Schoess had placed a picnic table beneath the building’s eaves, but some drivers literally moved the table to gain access. Currently, dumpsters have been placed in the alley as a roadblock for delivery trucks.

As a solution, Donahue proposed converting the alleyway from two-way traffic to one-way, allowing for vehicles to use the alleyway for an exit only. The council approved the change.

Odds and Ends

In other business, the council:

• announced the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization is scheduled for Tuesday, April 14, from 6-9 p.m., at city hall. Residents will have the opportunity to appeal their property valuation.

• approved changes to code enforcement and property maintenance ordinances to update those policies for residential districts.

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