Chatfield City Council handles several seasonal items of business as spring arrives

GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS The new swimming pool slide tower has been constructed and is taller than the City Council imagined it might be.
By : 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Chatfield News

“The pool – they put up the slide stand, and I’m glad we didn’t go to 25 feet because it’s so high,” observed Chatfield Mayor Russ Smith.

Smith addressed the Chatfield City Council at its meeting on Monday, March 25, about the work to build a 20-foot swimming pool slide at the new municipal pool that has been under construction throughout the winter.

Smith opened the meeting with that statement, then called city maintenance supervisor Brian Burkholder to outline the purchase of a replacement Toolcat.

Burkholder brought forward bids from the state and also from another vendor. He related that the state bid stood at $16,704 and that a bid from Bobcat Coulee Region in Dresbach, Minn., was offered at $11,555, with an additional $2,371 for a new brush. The city’s current Toolcat will be placed on public surplus with a minimum price of $3,750.

The councilors voted in favor of buying one for $11,555.

The council members then moved on to approve the hiring of summer help for the city crew from June to September, as some of the seasonal help Burkholder had before announced intentions not to return this summer.

Councilor Mike Urban commented that he would like to let Burkholder hire people to work more days in a week this summer because of the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (MnDOT) plans to begin construction on Highway 52 – which runs concurrent with Main Street and downtown Chatfield – and the new swimming pool opening.

“Sewer and water will be stretched, and I would like to give him some flexibility,” Urban said.

Burkholder then extended his appreciation for city crew workers and residents who lent a hand to fighting the blizzard that he missed – fortune had it that he was out of town on vacation at the end of February – and cited, “Winter was a tough season this year. We’re going to start sweeping streets, but I don’t want to jump the gun,” he sated. “We’ll be flushing hydrants soon, too.”

Committee reports ensued, and Councilor John McBroom pointed out that the public services committee discussed Olmsted County’s proposed changes to its vaping policy, with language that would advance the minimum age from 18 to 21. He said it was the committee’s opinion that Fillmore County is likely to follow suit.

Other business included holding off on ordering additional traffic signs for Main Street. “We’re kicking around different ideas to slow traffic down,” McBroom said.

Councilor Josh Broadwater gave the park and rec report, telling the council the committee had spent quite some time debating on what kind of concessions should be offered at the new swimming pool and how to choose a vendor.

Smith’s mayoral report encompassed that the MnDOT project includes a portion that must be paid by the city. “They estimated that it’d be $260,000, but it actually came back at $215,000. That’s not an extra $45,000, just $45,000 that we won’t have to come up with,” he stated.

Councilors had the chance to have their say before adjournment, and Urban was pleased to welcome spring’s arrival, McBroom offered a reminder for motorists to keep an eye on the streets for kids riding bicycles and skateboards, and Councilor Pam Bluhm offered that the citywide rummage sales are coming up and that forms are available at The Chatfield News.