During the October 5 Ostrander City Council meeting, the board discussed the condition of the playground equipment in the city park. All council members were present (Stephanie Start, Dan Hellerud, DJ Start, Vernon Thompson, and Mayor Pam Kunert, along with Jeremy Runkle and City Clerk Wendy Brincks).
The council considered two bids for solid waste and recycling services for the citizens and businesses in Ostrander. The city’s current contract with Waste Management runs through April 2022. Proposals were received from Sunshine Sanitation and Waste Management.
Jay Nieson summarized the proposal from Waste Management. The WM pricing includes a 3% annual increase, and no charge for garbage and recycling for city-owned properties and for city-sponsored events. Annual citywide cleanup would cost $300 plus the actual cost of disposal.
Brady Keefe gave a summary of the proposal from Sunshine Sanitation. The Sunshine Sanitation proposal includes a 4% annual increase over the life of the five-year contract. The proposal said that taxes and fuel surcharges are not included in the listed pricing. Council members asked how much additional cost that would likely be. Keefe gave an estimate.
Hellerud said he prefers to use a more local company, and made a motion to accept the proposal from Sunshine Sanitation, but there was no second to the motion, so it was not brought to a vote. DJ Start said he would prefer to have the tax and fuel surcharge numbers included in the proposal; Keefe said he would collect that information for the council to consider. The council voted to table the issue until the November council meeting.
Jeremy Runkle reported, “We switched over to the new water tower last Thursday, that went off without a hitch. Everything seems to be working good.” It was discussed that some citizens haven’t noticed any change in water pressure, while others have said their water pressure is considerably higher than before. The old water tower will soon be drained.
The council discussed options for installing the new playground equipment. A price quote from Minnesota/Wisconsin Playground showed the specifications of installation, and quoted a price of $11,473. The council discussed the safety and cushioning involved in the proposed installation. Brincks said in previous discussions, the city’s main question was that, if Minnesota/Wisconsin Playground does the installation, how much work would the city need to do. She stated, “So, the only thing the city would do is clear the pad, and make it flat and level. They would come in and do everything.” Mayor Kunert said her worry is that if the city planned to do the installation (using local volunteers), people may not show up when the installation is set to occur. Thompson agreed, and said in the spring, people tend to get busy with field work. After discussion, the council voted to have the vendor do the installation as shown in their bid.
Brincks shared a draft of a notice she plans to send to local citizens and businesses, asking them to consider making a donation to help pay for new playground equipment. The notice states that donor names will be shown on a plaque at the park. Brincks also shared a draft of a letter asking for sponsorships for the summer ball field. Sponsor names will displayed on banners on the outfield fence. The council was OK with the notice draft and letter as shown by Brincks.
Brincks pointed out there have been a few complaints about some signs posted on private properties in the city. Some of the signs include vulgar wording, which some citizens find offensive. She said she checked with the city attorney, and was told that these signs are considered free speech, and therefore, there is nothing the city can do about it.
The council’s next regular meeting will be Tuesday, November 2, at 6:30 p.m., in the Community Center. The public is welcome at all meetings, other than special closed meetings.