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New Richland City Council

By JODY WYNNEMER

Staff Writer

There wasn’t a full agenda as the New Richland City Council gathered for its second meeting of 2012 Monday evening. All members were present as Mayor Tom McShane called the meeting to order.

The night’s agenda was approved and two items were pulled from the consent agenda for further discussion. They were a conditional use permit and a pay request from Civil Ag Group for work done on the sewer system upgrade.

There were no public hearings or citizen petitions to be heard.

PeopleService representative Brad Field reported normal operations at the Waste Water Treatment Facility and progress being made on the upgrade to the plant.

Maintenance Supervisor Ryan Nissen was present and appeared dressed for snow removal.

“We start moving snow at 7:30,” said Nissen.

Nissen requested to attend a water and wastewater conference in St. Cloud on March 6-8. Cost of the event is $175 which includes meals and $197.78 for two nights’ hotel which the council approved.

Nissen and the council discussed the possibility of a water tower maintenance contract. It was decided to wait and obtain more information as there were some budget concerns. Nissen noted 2,788,603 gallons of water were unbilled in 2011 which amounted to $26,520. Fire hydrant flushing and other activities were not taken into account.

Nissen updated the council on the status of the new warming house at the skating rink. Questions arose as to who would be responsible for opening and securing the house. During the week the maintenance crew would open it and the police department could lock up in the evenings. Resident volunteers are requested to open it on weekends. Anyone interested is urged to contact City Clerk Billing at City Hall.

Ambulance Chief Jennifer Johnson reported 245 runs for the service in 2011 and 12 so far in 2012. Several personnel changes were discussed notably Brian Louks will be leaving the service at the end of March having completed 20 years. The council approved renewal of membership in the Minnesota Ambulance Association at a cost of $275. Membership in this organization allows discounts on equipment and supply purchases.

Johnson noted the ambulance has been called several times recently to Country Neighbors in New Richland to assist with residents who had fallen. Johnson and council member Christine Gislason are to meet with Country Neighbors staff to discuss the issue.

In unfinished business, the full council is scheduled to meet with the NRHEG School Board on Wednesday, February 15 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the NRHEG Media Center. Items to be discussed include Legion Field, the crosswalks adjacent to the school building and other issues.

The city has received a conditional use permit request from Jeff Christensen concerning the old Legion building on South Broadway. Christensen proposes to use the building for storage units. Since the property is located in a commercial district, re-zoning is not required. However, a public hearing is required and has been scheduled for Thursday, February 16 at 6:30 p.m. 

Discussion was held on the pay request from Civil Ag Group for work on the 3rd Street lift station. Council member Martens pointed out the contractor did not complete the work as scheduled and should be subject to fines for late completion. City Clerk Billing noted that in his experience in order to charge contractor fines, you have to show that damages or loss have occurred. The council voted to approved payment with Council member Martens voting no. 

The next meeting of the council is Monday, February 13 at 6:30 p.m.

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