New Richland City Council
By JODY WYNNEMER
Most of the Waseca County Commissioners were in attendance at the meeting of the New Richland City Council this past Monday evening. Vice-Mayor Christine Gislason called the meeting to order in the absence of Mayor Tom McShane. The evening’s agenda and consent agenda items were all approved.
The council heard a request from Vista Lutheran Church to hold their Vacation Bible School at the City Park this summer. There were no objections to the request.
City Maintenance Supervisor Ryan Nissen expects to take delivery on the new tractor sometime in March. The council decided to advertise to sell the old tractor via sealed bids. Nissen also requested $380 for oil and $1,110.68 for filters for the city’s vehicles.
The city has been pondering a maintenance contract offer from Utility Services Co. for several months. The company would be responsible for routine and preventative maintenance on the city’s water tower. Nissen had done some research with other cities who have done business with Utility Services and was given positive feedback. After hearing this, a motion was made and seconded approving the contract, which Gislason signed.PeopleService representative Brad Field was next with his report on the city’s Waste Water Treatment Facility.
“Steady progress is being made by the contractor on the WWTF Upgrade Project with mild weather conditions helping the process,” said Field. “The new blowers and piping for the aeration tank have arrived and will be installed soon.”
Field also noted final adjustments to the pump controls at the new 3rd Street lift station have been made and it is operating normally.
Ambulance chief Jennifer Johnson reported 37 ambulance runs so far in 2011. There have been minor issues with the engine on the ambulance, and needed repairs, if any, will be accomplished. The council approved a purchase request for four crew coats not to exceed $200. Training for crew members will be held at the monthly meeting March 5.
The Waseca County Commissioners and staff were next on the agenda.
Commissioner Jim Peterson had everyone introduce themselves. Board members Mike Hintz and Blair Nelson were not present.
County Administrator Laura Elvebak spoke briefly about the re-design of the Human Services Department and the impact on residents.
Planning and Zoning Administrator Mark Leiferman gave a presentation on the future county Economic Development Authority. Highway Engineer Nathan Richman announced several area roads to be improved:
• County Road 20 - From Hwy. 13 to the Vista churches, grading, 2012. Re-paving is scheduled for 2013.
• 3rd Street and Aspen Ave. in New Richland (2013.)
The county also will be taking over 18 miles of U.S. Highway 14 after the four-lane is opened.
Council members next perused the report from the Planning and Zoning meeting and public hearing held February 16 concerning a conditional use permit for the old American Legion property on Broadway Avenue. Jeff Christensen was in attendance to answer questions about his request to establish a storage facility on the premises. After concerns were voiced about the property, the council unanimously approved the CUP.
Lastly, City Clerk Billing stated his office had received about 20 calls from residents concerning the recent water and sewer rate increases.
The next meeting of the New Richland City Council will be held Monday, March 12, starting at 6:30 p.m.