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Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
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January 17, 2013     Tri-County News
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January 17, 2013
 

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Thursday, January 17, 2013  Minn. i-, " .-- . .27:::-555555=,, ;i; 5 5 ..... ?'1] II! IIII South Haven looks forward to new city hall/community center By Jean Doran Matua, Editor South Haven city council held their first meeting of the year Thursday, Jan. 3. The oath of office was given to newly elected and re-elected officials: mayor John Lemke, and councilors Buss Christinsen and Tony Stanley. Acting mayor will be split throughout the year between Tony Stanley, Kandice Voigt, Norman Bodeker, and Russ Christinsen. The following other appointments were made: Community Center Project, Voigt and Lemke; Park Maintenance Supervisor, Stan- ley; Street Maintenance Super- visor, Stanley; Weed Inspectors, Lemke and Stanley; Water Dept. Supervisor: Christinsen; Sewer Dept. Supervisor: Christinsen; Le00,als .4 Government purchased a new water rescue suit and supplies with funds from a $1,000 grant from AgStar Financial Services. The town's emergency siren is working fine. Trains block- ing both tracks for long periods of time continue to be a problem. Work on the new city hall/ community center is progressing. There was a delay waiting for elec- tric and natural gas hook-ups. The floor cement should be poured soon. The council moved to have a motion-detection security sys- tem installed in the office portion of the building. The city received an insurance divident payment of $8,629 from the League of Minnesota Cities. The next meeting of the council will be Monday, Feb. 4. Meetings Fire Dept. Liaison, Bodeker; Emer- gency management/Fire Commis- sion Bep., Lemke; Fire Dept. Liai- son, Bodeker; Fire Chief, Kenneth (Oscar) Laney; Municipal Liquor Store Liaison, Lemke. Tim Young of Young & Young & Brown LLP in Annandale was appointed City Attorney. Annan- dale State Bank is official depos- itory. Annandale Advocate is the official newspaper. Burkhart & Burkhardt CPA was appointed city- auditor and payroll accountant. County Commissioner Chris Husom came to introduce herself to the council and invite contact anytime. The South Haven Fire Dept. had two fire calls and nine rescue calls in December. The department IIl'll HR]HR[rNF Inlllll Page! The new South Haven city hall and community center sits on the site of the old one, torn down last year. Staff photo by Jean Doran Matua. are held in the Fire Hall until the new city hall is completed. Watkins fills vacant council seat, considers Public Works cooperation with Kimball Watkins mayor Dennis Loch presented Tootz Tschumperlin with a plaque Jan. 10 in appreciation of her many ye:ars of service on the council. Staff photos by Jean Doran Matua. at any time. The approved sale of the city bond (from 2007 construction) has been delayed because of increas- ing rates. The council approved setting a sale date in February or March. At this its first meeting of the year, appointments were made that include: Acting Mayor Hesse, Street Commissioner Hesse, Water Commissioner, Gertken, Sewer Commissioner Piccerillo, Police Commissioner Unterberger, Shade Tree Commissioner Piccerillo, Weed Inspector Loch. Farmers hall. They also tabled a decision on upgrading internet and wi-fi in city hall until they have more information on what is needed. The council voted unanimously against National Flood Insul'ance for the city. The potential cost sav- ings on eight properties affected did not balance with the regula- tory restrictions and requirements that would beimposed on the city. (The issue will come up each year for discussion and decision.) The council approved a new land use permit application, at current rates that can be changed By Iean Doran Matua, Editor As its first order of business for 2013, the Watkins city coun- cil resolved to create a council vacancy (the seat held by Dennis Loch who was elected mayor in November). The next order of busi- ness was to fill that vacancy. Hav- ing held interviews of the three candidates (Jerre Hesse, David Hokanson, and Tootz Tschumper- lin), the council appointed Hesse to the vacant seat. The mayor and three new council members were sworn in. Dennis Loch presented a plaque tO Tschumperlin, delayed because of an error made on the plaque last year. The Sheriff's report indicated 51 calls during December. All eight ordinance violations were for win- ter parking; all were given warn- ings, and there were no repeat offenders. The council agreed not to dis- count the Barrier Int'l water bill (after several months of erroneous automated meter-reading and bill- ing) and give them 90 days to pay the corrected bill. They will take the average Oct./Nov. sewer bill and take that as an average for the months that were billed incorrectly. They tabled a decision on whether to order "City of Watkins" letters or a sign for the front of city New members of the Watkins city council are, from left, Jerry Hesse (appointed at the Jan. 10 meeting), Sue Unterberger, mayor Dennis Loch, and Melody Gertken who were elected in November. Not pictured is incumbent Scott "Jersey" Piccerillo. State Bank of Watkins is the depos- itory bank, and Tri-CountyNews is the official newspaper. The Watkins Fire Dept. is in need of a new pumper truck and is $350;000 short of funds to replace the curnt 12-year-old truck. On its third attempt, Watkins was given a FEMA grant of just over $42,000 for turnout gear. Jack's of Watkins obtained a BP Fueling Communities grant of $3,000 for the Watkins Ambulance. Bruce Schmitz is a new member of the Fire Dept., and Adam Dockendorf is new to the Watkins Ambulance. The city of Kimball, repre- sented by mayor Tammy Konz, councilman Nate Osmundson, and clerk Nicole Pilarski, started dialogue regarding sharing a licensed water/sewer professional as Kimball's has quit and Watkins' will soon retire. Steve Geislinger was named Public Works Direc- tor in Watkins. Dialogue will con- tinue about the possibility of shar- ing staff and duties with Kimball. Eden Valley prepares to purchase fire truck, plans concert, waits to order police vehicle By Jean Doran Matua, Editor At a special meeting Dec. 27, the Eden Valley city council approved a loan request from Stearns Cooperative Electric Asso- ciation to finance $175,000 to pay the remaining balance needed to purchase a fire truck. (Technically, they will issue and sell $175,000 of taxable general obligation equip- ment certificates to the Coop.) The loan is for 10 years at a rate of 3.25 )ercent. At that meeting, J. Tacheny pro- osed a donation of property to e city, property that could be [sold with the profits to be donated o the new library/event center project. Because of a large delin- quent property tiax debt that would need to be paid (by the city) at the time of title transfer, the council declined the offer. Jan. 9 was the first 2013 meet- ing for the council. Cheryl Thielen returned to the council table, hav- ing been elected in November. Appointed to two-year terms were: Street Commissioner Reetz, Police Commissioner D. Thielen, Fire Commissioner-C. Thielen, Water/Sewer Commissioner Gabrelcik, EDA rep's Korman and D. Thielen; Public Works Direc- tor Jim Rademacher will continue to be tree and weed inspector and emergency management direc- tor. The official newspaper is Tri- County News. The official depos- itory bank is State Bank in Eden Valley. The council agreed to keep fees the same for 2013 as for 2012, with the exception of removal of dog licensing fees. Administrative offense penalties were kept the same as last year. They agreed to keep compensation the same this year as well: $30 per meeting, $40 per half-day and $80 per full-day work; using IRS rates for mileage reimbursement. There is more than $73,000 in a fund available for housing reha- bilitation in the city. The-coun- cil will wait for the guidelines to be updated before restarting the 10-yea: loan program. Three or four homes could be done for this amount of money. Discussion of the nightl siren was held. Because of complaints by neighbors, the council is consid- ering sounding the Civil Defense siren at atime earlier than the cur- rent 9:55 p.m. A new time has not yet been set, and public input is welcome before a decision is made at their February meeting. There was discussion about the lease of a new vehicle for the Police Dept. Chief Ernie Junker plans to lease a 2013 Chevy Tahoe at $553 per month. Additional costs such as installing a light bar or a new com- puter have been budgeted by the department. It will take 90 days to order the stripped-down model, but the council will first examine the lease soon, before it is ordered. There was discussion regard- ing the use of city funds to essen- tially guarantee the 2013 Music in the Valley concert. "Warrant," a national band, has been booked. Last year's expenses were about $38,000 and a net profit of $11,000 was made for use in the new library/community center. Rain- out insurance will be required by the city. The concert is sched- uled for Saturday, Aug. 10, again at Eden Valley Elementary School grounds. This is their second con- cert, and it is hoped that it will be even better than the first. Good news for the Eden Val- ley community: they have been awarded a Healthy Communities Partnership grant of $10,500. The first $10,000 grant has started a number ot" great projects like the library, so another grant is great news indeed. The next meeting of the Eden Valley city council is Wednesday, Feb. 7. Newly elected members of the Eden Valley city council were sworn in at their Jan. 9 meeting. Standing are, from left, clerk Mona Haag, Eric Reetz, mayor Pete Korman, and Cheryl Thielen. (Seated are incumbents Kevon Gabrelcik and Dan Thielen.) Staff photo by Stephanie Johnson.