Filthy 50 event coordinator Trenton Raygor was present at the February 6 Lanesboro City Council meeting via Zoom to ask the council’s approval to host the event in Lanesboro again this year. The date of the bike race will be October 14, with the same street closures and plans as previous years. Council member Chase Bakke noted that he had received complaints from farmers that the riders blocked traffic, stopped on gravel roads, and failed to move over for farm equipment during last year’s race, creating safety concerns for both the riders and farmers. “I’m all for bringing this to town, but what can you do to minimize those actions?” he asked Raygor. Raygor responded that the expectations for conduct during the race are communicated to the riders ahead of time and on the day of the race. “Unfortunately, we can’t really enforce it,” he explained. The council approved the event and the street closures. Mayor Jason Resseman asked Raygor to touch base with the city 60 days before the race.
The consent agenda was approved and included the accounts payable, resolution 2023-10 accepting a donation for Sylvan Park in memory of Marge Drake, the 2023 lodging licenses, and a temporary liquor license for the dates of February 10-11 and June 17 for Lanesboro Arts.
Pay request #26 from Wapasha Construction in the amount of $14,001.91 was reviewed and approved on recommendation of City Engineer Brian Malm.
Council member Mindy Albrecht-Benson gave the Lanesboro Public Utilities report via Zoom as she was not able to attend the meeting in person. Electric costs are being monitored to be sure that the money brought in is enough to cover the city’s costs as prices have gone up. The electrical meters will be replaced next year and water meters will be done sometime after that.
The Planning and Zoning Commission are currently having discussions on commercial vehicle parking in Lanesboro and are also reviewing the city’s comprehensive plan.
The Historical Preservation Commission is looking into options for staying in compliance with the State of Minnesota. According to the state, a member of the commission is required to attend a yearly conference, but no one has been able to attend for the last few years.
Library Director Tara Johnson reported that the Lanesboro Public Library has a grant with Seedsavers in Decorah and will be starting its own seed library.
The updated administrator/clerk job description was reviewed and approved.
The board discussed the repairs needed for the walking bridge to Little Norway. Malm noted that it would be wise to verify who actually owns the bridge before doing any work on it. The cost for a title search would run between $1,000-1,500, and a full survey would be between $4,000-10,000. The estimated costs for repairs vary greatly depending on what needs to be done. Several questions were raised such as liability concerns and the actual usage of the bridge. A motion was approved to have City Administrator Michele Peterson reach out to the residents of Little Norway to get their thoughts on the bridge and to close the bridge due to liability issues until the city can determine who owns it.
At the previous meeting, the council had received a request from a resident to reconsider the removal of the sidewalk as part of the upcoming Beacon Street project. The estimated cost of replacing the sidewalk would be approximately $16,500. Malm suggested that the council wait to make a decision until he can provide better information on funding and upcoming change orders to the project. The matter was tabled.
Fire Chief Rob Wagner updated the council on the department’s previous request to purchase a new truck from the City of Eagan. The truck would not be available until September 2024. However, a different truck was found that is similar to the first one, but two years newer for the same purchase price of $200,000. The second truck would be available in April 2023, which is significantly sooner than the first one. The department had formed a committee to compare the two trucks and they unanimously agreed that the second one would be a better option. The council approved the purchase.
David Haugen reported that the street department’s 2017 tractor is up for replacement as it is on a five-year rotation. He was able to find a used one from a state lease, which would mean that its warranty would begin over again at the time of purchase. Including the trade-in, the total cost would be $14,000, which is $6,000 less than a brand new one. Haugen also mentioned that he is looking into purchasing a skidloader as the city does not currently own one. He noted that there are many areas where a skidloader would be more efficient than a tractor. He would like to purchase the used state lease tractor and have the savings go towards a skidloader, which would be set up on a five-year replacement rotation. The tractor would be used less often and could then be put on a seven-year rotation. The tractor purchase was approved. Mayor Resseman said that he was surprised that the city didn’t already own a skidloader as their functionality is very versatile. “I’m all in favor of having a skidloader as part of the city fleet,” he commented. A motion to purchase a 2023 Kubota skidloader with forks and grapple attachments was approved.
The draft version of the city’s capital improvement plan was reviewed and approved.
The EDA ordinance was reviewed as the state is requiring that it be updated. The updates include changing the EDA from a three-member commission to a five-member, two of whom must be city council members. Council member Joe Goetzke asked if it would be possible to word the ordinance so that it could fluctuate between three and five members depending on how many people are able to serve on the EDA at that time. City Attorney Joseph O’Koren agreed to look into the possibility and the matter was tabled for further discussion.
A proposal to increase the per capita amount from $45.84 to $56.00 was approved.
The city does not currently have a policy regarding remote work for its employees. Peterson asked the council to consider if it would like to move forward with putting one in place.
There is approximately $170,000 left in Fund 230 from the now-shuttered ambulance department. Peterson asked how the council would like to use it. After some discussion, the matter was tabled until more information could be obtained on the legality of its use.
Peterson will not be available at the regular council meeting on May 1. The council approved a motion to move that meeting to Tuesday, May 2 at 6 p.m.
The next Lanesboro City Council meeting will be held on March 6 at 6 p.m.
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