Council approves extension for Dollar General purchase agreement

By : 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Chatfield News

The Chatfield City Council handled its Monday, March 11, meeting in speedy fashion, calling the meeting to order and completing business in less than ten minutes.

First, Chris Giesen from the economic development authority (EDA) came before the council to update its members on progress of the Dollar General store project that is to take place on the EDA’s Twiford redevelopment land. 

He cited that an extension to the purchase agreement is necessary due to title issues — namely, there are small parcels of land within the redevelopment plot that haven’t clear titles — and the deadline for the purchase would be changed from June 1 to Aug. 1, 2019, and the project completion date would be moved from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2019. 

“If things can move faster, ideally this will get done quicker,” he commented, adding that an attorney had reviewed the contract and the EDA recommended the city move forward with the extension. 

The councilors, except Mike Urban, voted in favor. 

The council then approved the second reading and publication of the city’s administrative code, as well as a $7,522.15 change order from Benike Construction for the swimming pool. 

Mayor Russ Smith had nothing to report in his capacity as mayor, and city maintenance supervisor Brian Burkholder had nothing to bring before the council, either. 

City Clerk Joel Young, however, had resolutions for the council’s consideration — the first for tax abatement related to the city’s share of replacing the lights along Main Street, which runs concurrent with Highway 52, and the second, a resolution of support for the Southeastern Minnesota Diversification Loan Fund, meant to help diversify the local economies of towns outside of Rochester.  Both garnered approval from the councilors. 

Urban gave the personnel report, sharing that the committee had reviewed the letter from the diversification loan fund’s proponents and discussed Highway 52 bonding matters and the creation of a new ADA coordinator’s position that will be added to the responsibilities of existing staff. 

Councilor Paul Novotny gave the public works committee report, outlining that the committee had talked about a pretreatment agreement, traffic signs and the sale and replacement of the city’s toolcat and toolcat broom. He added that the committee recommends selling or trading the toolcat in for a newer model. He also said there have been parking issues in the alleys and at the public parking lot on the corner of Main and Third, such as vehicles that seem to be permanently parked in the public lot. 

In closing, Councilor John McBroom stated he’s more than ready for spring’s arrival, and Councilor Pam Bluhm thanked the city crews for clearing snow from the alley behind the downtown businesses so she could get into and out of her parking space behind The Chatfield News. 

The consent agenda included approving the appointments of Jordan Newcome, Zeb Dudek, Brooke Tuttle, Cora Castleberg and Chase Espinosa as emergency medical technicians.