Doug Lind, Fillmore County Fair Board, discussed plans to hold a music concert at the fairgrounds on Saturday, August 12. Councilman David Collett was absent at this March 20 meeting.
City Administrator Joe Hoffman reported that he met with Lind, Mayor Kurt Reicks, and Police Chief Matt Schultz last week to discuss the planned concert and the city’s ordinance that regulates large exhibitions. One question under discussion was whether or not the Ag Society will need to get a license to put on the concert. They have also met with Sheriff Tom Kaase.
Lind said they are in the process of acquiring a contract for the concert which they hope could attract several thousand people from southeast Minnesota. The maximum capacity is 4,000. They plan to offer an opportunity to camp and expect 200-300 campers (750 maximum). According to the city’s ordinance, if there are more than 1,000 people for over an eight-hour period, a license is required. The Ag Society has applied for a license. They will also apply for a liquor license. They are working to identify possible additional areas for parking.
The great unknown is just how many people will attend. General admission will be $20. Arrangements will be made for security. The concert area will be fenced, there will be permanent and portable toilets, vendors (providing drinking water), and additional portable lighting.
A requirement for a physician or nurse for every 5,000 people was discussed. Lind suggested EMTs and an ambulance could be on hand. The ordinance requires one security guard for 100 people up to 1,000. The ordinance also asks for a $50,000 bond.
Lind said the Ag Society does have a bond, but much less than $50,000. City Attorney Dwight Luhmann noted the Fair Board does large events during the fair and knows how to handle the necessary issues. Lind suggested their current general liability insurance would be available for liability issues. He added they are prepared to follow the rules. Hoffman said there would not be a requirement for a license if this event were held during the fair.
Councilwoman Holly Zuck made a motion to ask the Fair Board to obtain a license. She suggested ordinance conditions five (physician and nurse), 10 (one security guard per 100 people), and 14 ($50,000 bond) be waived. A motion was approved to ask for a license and to waive the $50,000 bond; leaving five and 10 up to the city’s staff discretion, depending on the number of ticket sales.
Other business in brief
• Jim Bakken, Public Works, showed a picture of the city’s 2009 Chevy plow pick-up that has a broken frame. He said even if it is repairable it won’t serve as a plow pick-up. Approval was given to purchase a 2017 Chevrolet 3500 off the state bid for $33,500. The cost will be split 50/50 with Preston Public Utilities. The plow will be mounted on the new pick-up.
Hoffman said they don’t know if the break is due to corrosion or an incident. A claim has been submitted to insurance. Bakken suggested if the 2009 pick-up can be made safe and meet DOT regulations, it can be repaired and used for light duty. Councilman Robert Maust voted against the motion as he believes the 2009 pick-up should be scrapped for liability reasons.
• Approval was given to purchase a skid loader with attachments and a new mower with deck to replace a 2011 John Deere lawn mower. Bakken explained how this is the best use of funds over a period of years. The city does not have a skid loader currently. The total cost to the city will be about $19,800. The nearly $60,000 cost of the two pieces of equipment after trade is shared equally by the city, Park Board, and Utility Commission.
• A variance request from Nancy Smock to build a 25-foot by 25-foot free standing open air carport off the alley behind her home was approved as recommended by Planning and Zoning. The variance is from the city code that limits 35% of a lot to be covered by structures. When this carport is constructed 41% of the Smock lot will be covered by structures. During the public hearing at P and Z there was no comment from the public.
• A three year contract with J & M Displays was approved. The longer term contract comes with a 15% bonus (12 shells worth $674 per year). Heath Mensink explained that the longer contract allows them to have more fireworks for Trout Days. The contract doesn’t require they purchase fireworks each year of the contract, but does require that if fireworks are purchased they must purchase them from J & M.
• The council approved colors for the exterior of city hall. The wall (EFIS) will be yellow-tan, the canopy sierra tan, and the trim surrey beige.
• The mayor proclaimed Friday, April 28 as Arbor Day. Some elementary kids will help plant a tree on that day in the city.