Project Engineer Chris Goodwin updated the Lanesboro City Council on the dam project. There is approximately $600,000 worth of work left to do. “The lion’s share of the physical work on the dam and the surrounding area has been completed,” he explained. Mayor Jason Resseman noted that he was thankful that the weather had cooperated during the work this summer. “I’m glad we can finally move on from this after 12 years,” he said.
The consent agenda was approved and included the accounts payable, the MMUA Safety Management Program, the SEMCAC vendor agreement, and Ordinance 30.111 regarding the City of Lanesboro’s fee schedule. Council member Tom Smith recommended that the RV fees at the campground be raised. Mayor Resseman agreed to ask the Park Board to discuss the option and make a recommendation to the council.
The discussion about music in the downtown commercial district was removed from the agenda as Mayor Resseman felt that it wasn’t an issue. He asked that musicians and their audiences continue to be respectful of the community and keep their volume at appropriate levels for the areas in which they are playing.
City Engineer Brian Malm updated the council on the wastewater treatment plant improvement project. Back in March, five bids were received with the lowest in the amount of $7.9 million from Wabasha Construction. The estimated total project costs are predicted to come in at around $9.7 million. The city also received $2.9 million in grant funding, but it should be eligible for $4.8 million in grant dollars. Malm has been waiting until legislature passes the bonding bill that will bring the grant funding up to where it should be, but it still hasn’t happened. The contractor had agreed to hold the bid until the end of September which is coming up. He presented the council with two options for proceeding. The first option would be to award the contract to Wabasha Construction at this time so as not to lose the bid. The hope would be that the bonding bill would pass in legislature and that the additional grant money would become available in the fall of 2021 although it is not guaranteed. The second option would be to wait to award the project until after the bonding bill is passed and the grant funding has been received although the project would have to be rebid at that time and costs could increase anywhere from $500,000 to one million. Malm also pointed out that Lanesboro is currently the third project on the list for grant dollars and if the city waits for another bonding cycle, they could end up moving further down the list in priority. The council decided to table the matter until the contractor’s deadline to see if the bonding bill passes in legislature’s upcoming special session.
The council discussed the public facilities COVID-19 response and decided to keep the community center closed for the time being. Smith asked when the Lanesboro Public Library will go back to its regular hours. Mayor Resseman assured him that he would address his question with the library board.
The council approved a motion to allocate some of the CARES Act money as a grant to each of the two daycare centers in Lanesboro as a way to support the workforce overall.
At the August meeting, the council had discussed a request to change Fillmore Avenue N from a two-way street to a one-way. The matter had been tabled to give the council members time to drive and assess the road. After doing so, it was decided to leave the street as a two-way.
A number of people have expressed interest in the city’s 150th celebration banners from 2019. One was given to the museum as memorabilia and another will be kept at city hall. Smith suggested holding a drawing for the rest of them as a fair way of distribution. Details for the drawing will be posted on the city’s social media page and on the municipal website.
Resolution 2020-29 was approved for the proposed 2021 tax levy.
The EDA has a small revolving loan program for local small businesses with the account currently being held at Merchants Bank in Lanesboro. The EDA commission recommended that the account be moved to F&M Community Bank in Preston as an act of appreciation for the bank’s community involvement. The council approved the change.
Mayor Resseman expressed gratitude for the way former council member Tom Dybing stepped out of retirement to temporarily fill Autumn Johnson’s council seat when she was deployed. Now that Johnson has formally resigned her seat, the council will choose someone else to fill it for the remaining two years of her term.
The next Lanesboro City Council meeting will be held on October 5 at 6 p.m.