Lanesboro City Council approves expedited remedy for wind damage at wastewater treatment plant

By : 
Bretta Grabau
News Leader

At the Lanesboro City Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 4, City Administrator Michele Peterson reported the wastewater treatment plant sustained damage from the high winds last week.

After the winds, snow fell, finding its way into the ceiling through the damaged areas. After the weather turned warmer over the weekend, Peterson stated damage could be seen in 24 hours. Water began leaking through light fixtures and in the lights and down the ceiling onto the machines.

She informed the Council the insurance adjuster had been to the plant earlier that day confirming the damage was from the wind. She also contacted the contractor who built the plant and stated they would be at the plant the following day. She asked the council for the authority to work with both the insurance company and contractor to fix the issues.

The Council approved an expedited remedy for the problem.

Reports

The Council heard from three departments during its meeting as well.

Chief of Police Matt Schultz and Sargent Blaise Sass attended the meeting. Schultz informed the council the Preston Police Department has recently acquired a new squad car and has put it into service. The department also replaced the computers in its office over the past year.

Schultz noted the department will be undergoing some staff changes over the course of the year with the probable departure of some part-time staff to a more permanent position elsewhere.

In addition, he stated, regarding the burglaries last year, complaints have been filed and signed and will be going into court soon.

When asked about the police’s responsibility, now that Preston also has Fountain under its jurisdiction, Schultz noted it has been very good and Fountain has fit right into the department’s rotation. He emphasized that while one may not see the officers as much, they are still always around.

Don Lukkason updated the council on changes taking place in the chamber of commerce. A new executive director, Andrzej Zalasinksi, began his duties this week.

With the extreme below-zero temperatures last week, the chamber’s annual meeting was postponed to Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m.

In Lukkason’s perspective, 2018 was a very productive year based on the number of people who were seen out and about the town. He noted the chamber also added some new members to the roster and met the proposed budget.

He shared the chamber is trying to help its members with similar marketing strategies for the businesses.

In response to the report, Mayor Jason Resseman emphasized the Council’s desire to meet the new executive director and extended him the invitation to attend the city council meetings and keep the Council updated on business around town.

In addition, Resseman invited chamber members to attend the Heritage Preservation Commission meeting on Feb. 20 to discuss the town’s 150th anniversary celebration.

In the ambulance department, Director Deane Benson reported three applications for EMTs were submitted. He stated, for Lanesboro, that number is huge. There will be a class starting in March for EMTs. The Council approved the three applications.

Benson also shared the department’s pancake breakfast will be held on March 10.

After doing some research for cold weather clothes, Benson stated Scheels is willing to donate to the cause, though he did not know how much. He had asked for $600 and looked at arctic mittens with fingers and neck warmers.

Other business

The Council received a request for a music event coming on March 30 to incorporate a smoke show into the performance. The request was to turn off the fire alarm security system for the performance to allow for the smoke show. However, the Council denied this request emphasizing there are not only safety issues with this request, but there also could be long-term effect with residue on the system and possible liability issues at future events. It was noted the fire chief was asked if a couple fire department members could be in attendance to replace the alarm system, though he was not sure it would work. The request would also increase the margin for human error greatly.

The Heritage Preservation Commission meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers. The 150th anniversary celebration will be discussed, and Mayor Resseman stressed his desire to see Lanesboro residents and community members attend the meeting for input on the celebration.

The Council discussed a budgeted funds policy, which would allow Peterson the authority to approve an expense not originally in the budget — up to a certain threshold. She stated this does not happen often, somewhere between two and five times a year. Council Member Bridget Harvey noted the Council and Peterson have a good working relationship, but it might still be good to have a policy in place for the future. The Council tabled the discussion until the March meeting.

The Council approved the 2019 meeting schedule, an audit agreement with Smith Schafer and Associates for 2018, 2019 Fillmore County ambulance subsidy contracts, a zoning ordinance for publishing and a Taylor/Troendle easement agreement.

In addition, a resignation for Heidi Dybing from the library board was accepted, while Phil Holtegaard and Sarah Pieper were appointed to the library board.

Steve Snyder was also appointed to planning and zoning.