At the September 3 Lanesboro City Council meeting, Darla Taylor from the Buffalo Bill Days Committee reported that the weekend event went well. “We had another fabulous year at Buffalo Bill Days,” she said. “We dialed into some perfect weather. The beer and brat tent was very successful.” The profit from the tent came to approximately $14,000, which was distributed among the eight groups that helped run the tent. Some of the money was also donated to the American Legion for their tuckpointing project and to the Sons of Norway. A portion was saved for the Lanesboro softball field project.
A resignation from Historical Preservation Commission member Mark Edwards was accepted by the council, effective immediately. “We are in dire need of new members for the HPC,” Mayor Jason Resseman stated. “We’re down to three.” He noted that the Commission only meets quarterly so it’s not a big time commitment and encouraged the council to let people know about the opportunity. Without the HPC, the city would not be eligible for certain grants and state funding.
The council had previously made plans to repair the sidewalks in town, but City Works Director David Haugen asked them to consider whether investing in the ones that don’t go to the end of the block would be worth it. He asked if it would be an option to pull them out and seed over them with the homeowners’ consent. Mayor Jason Resseman asked if there are sidewalks on the other side of the street in those locations to give pedestrians a safe place to walk. “It might be something worth taking a look at before just pulling them out,” City Attorney Thomas Manion pointed out. Mayor Resseman asked Haugen to get the addresses of the homes that have partial sidewalks going by them so that City Administrator Michele Peterson can send out letters asking for their opinions on the matter. The council will revisit the sidewalk issue in two months.
The council discussed the snow policy that was implemented last year, which required residents to park off the street during a snow emergency. “I’m not being critical, but one observation I did have was that when we had everyone vacate the streets to plow, they all parked in alleys and yards, clogging those up,” Mayor Resseman noted. Haugen acknowledged that during the big snow storm, that was an issue. “That was a perfect storm for everything to go wrong,” he said, adding that while usually one city worker cleared out the alleys while the others cleared the streets, he was the only one able to make it into town to plow snow. Haugen also asked about the council’s plan to save money on overtime by having just one person plow the main streets and hills when the total snowfall is less than one inch. While he understood the reason behind the plan, he had some apprehension. “In my opinion, if we’re going to have an inch or less, if we’re going to have one person plow everything, it really gets to be a lot,” he said. Council member Bridget Harvey suggested that they give it a try this winter to see how it goes. “If there’s any kind of issues with it, we can come back and discuss it,” she said. The rest of the council agreed.
Haugen informed the council that the city snow plow needs a lot of work done to get it up and running properly. “I started ordering parts and getting it back together,” he said. “The rust is eating us alive. It’s going to start nickel and diming us.” He suggested that the council start considering the purchase of a new snow plow in the near future. Mayor Resseman agreed. “We’re kind of getting to the point where we’re not going to be able to push this off anymore,” he said. He asked Haugen to gather quotes for new and used options.
Preston Police Chief Blaise Sass introduced the department’s new deputy, Gideon Prodoehl to the council. Prodoehl was sworn in earlier that evening.
The 2020 budget was reviewed by the council and a resolution passed certifying it.
Council member Chase Bakke will take Autumn Johnson’s place as the Park Board liaison in her absence from the council.
The park department has set aside funds to be used for bathhouse renovations and asked that the council approve the project, which they did.
The council discussed the visibility issue for motorists turning from Coffee Street onto Parkway. Harvey asked if it would be possible to turn the corner spot in front of Pedal Pushers into a handicapped spot so it would be open more often, increasing the visibility. Haugen pointed out that there wasn’t adequate space there for unloading. The matter was tabled until the April 2020 council meeting.
The sidewalk improvement assessments were approved with the addition of one more property.
The next Lanesboro City Council meeting will be held on October 7 at 6 p.m.