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Dassel City Council reviews complaint process
January 21, 2020

Nancy Dashwood
Staff Writer

DASSEL, MN – Dassel City Council Member Tom Weseloh wanted to make sure city citizens who report complaints know city representatives are listening.

He proposed that a complainant be notified about how their issue is being handled.

Mayor Ron Hungerford said that he or City Clerk/Treasurer Terri Boese usually handle complaints as soon as they are reported, and do not allow them to wait until the next council meeting.

The council discussed standardizing the procedure so complainants are always aware how their issue is being addressed.

The council eventually decided to follow up on each complaint with a letter to the complainant acknowledging it had been received.

The complainant would then be invited to the next regular council meeting to address any remaining concerns. People not wishing to attend a council meeting would receive a letter describing any action taken regarding their complaint.

Fire chief presents 2019 annual report

Dassel Fire Chief Dave Johnson told the council that the fire department responded to a total of 303 calls in 2019, coincidentally the same number the department responded to in 2018.

Johnson said Dassel’s volunteer firefighters put in a total of 4,092 hours throughout 2019. Firefighters worked an average of 230 volunteer hours each throughout 2019, with one member putting in 278 hours.

Johnson said, on average, each firefighter responded to 153 calls, attended 13 trainings, and made 11 monthly meetings.

Johnson said the department’s new truck had been taken to two calls so far, and was ready to be taken on medical calls.

Museum director shares ergot interest

Dassel Museum Director Carolyn Holje said ergot, for which Dassel is well-known, has attracted the attention of the creators of the American docuseries “Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia.”

The program, which may be viewed on the Viceland and Hulu platforms, features Hamilton Morris, and American journalist and chemist. On “Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia,” Morris investigates the chemistry, history, and culture surrounding various psychoactive drugs.

Holje indicated the show’s producers intended to visit the museum in February, with the intention of learning the history of ergot, and then demystifying it on the show.

Holje reported that 23 museum volunteers logged 1,752 hours during 2019. She noted that 44 routine volunteers prefer not to document their volunteer hours.

During 2019, of the visitors who signed the museum’s guest book, 70 were from cities in Minnesota, 25 were from other states, and four were from other countries.

Municipal profitable in 2019

Hungerford shared Dassel Municipal Liquor Store Manager Marv Vetsch’s report. The liquor store showed 5 percent growth for 2019. Gross profit for the year was $292,858.

Public works to refresh signs

Public Works Director Mitchell Otten presented an $1,587 estimate from Viking Signs. Otten requested the estimate after he made a list of missing, damaged, or faded signs within the city last autumn. The estimate also provided for some city graphic logos for city-owned vehicles and equipment. The council approved the expenditure.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• adopted a resolution naming the Enterprise Dispatch as the city’s official newspaper, and Perennial Bank and the 4-M funds as designated depositories.

• was reminded about upcoming meetings, including the first open meeting, after two that were closed, regarding allegations or charges against an individual subject to city authority. The open meeting will take place Wednesday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. at Dassel City Hall.

Additionally, the February regular council meeting will take place Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m., so it won’t conflict with Presidents Day.

The council then went into a closed session to conduct a performance review for Boese.

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