May 5, the Ostrander city council held a regular meeting, with all members in attendance (Stephanie Start, Dan Hellerud, DJ Start, Vernon Thompson, Mayor Pam Kunert, and City Clerk Wendy Brincks) as well as city attorney Jennifer Gumbel.
The council heard from Gumbel regarding the Farm Animal Ordinance and related concerns. She stated that the Zoning Committee met and made a recommendation. She said, “The Zoning Committee and the landowner were able to work out an ordinance that is going to work for the landowner while regulating his feedlot…to promote the health and safety of citizens.” The council voted to approve the Settlement Agreement as presented, as well as the proposed Animal Ordinance and Feedlot Ordinance.
Brincks brought up the damaged sign in front of the community center. She said the wood has deteriorated, and the sign had actually fallen over, but has been propped back up. She said it’s likely to fall over again at some point, and could be a safety concern. The city will check into costs to replace the sign.
Brincks also brought up that Fowler’s has closed, so the city needs to determine where to purchase gasoline for vehicles. After discussion of several options, the council voted to set up an account with Casey’s for all city vehicle gasoline needs.
Wendy Brincks reported that the Wastewater Treatment Plant is “running smooth.” Fire Chief Dustin Johnson said he is still seeking more firefighters, and he suggested anyone interested contact him, or they can obtain an application from the city clerk. The Sheriff’s Department submitted a written summary of activity for the month of April.
There was discussion about the city’s police equipment, which is no longer used. The council agreed to donate both guns to the Sheriff’s Department, as well as the bulletproof vest, if it is found to be non-expired.
The council discussed an issue regarding the property of Nathan Cole, regarding Nuisance parking and storage. The city has sent a letter to Mr. Cole, who was in attendance at the meeting. A question was brought up about the city’s ordinances regarding this; Brincks said the ordinances have been unchanged for at least 10 years. DJ Start said he is concerned that there are other property owners who also are in violation of the ordinance. Brincks said this is something the Sheriff’s Department looks into annually.
Brincks said that regarding the leftover pieces of well casing, the city needs to find a way to get rid of them. She said Waste Management has offered to take them and give the city credit based on the total amount of iron. Stephanie Start suggested possibly using four of the pieces to install “protective posts” around the new generator and life station, to prevent damage to the equipment. The council approved these plans.
The council discussed the possibility of purchasing a speaker system for use during council meetings, so that all in attendance could better hear what is being said. Brincks shared that she had done some looking around, and found a highly-rated system with two microphones, at a total cost of roughly $300. The council voted to approve this purchase.
Ostrander was informed of receiving a $200,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Housing and Urban Development. There will be upcoming meetings regarding how to use these funds. The council also discussed bringing in rock, and grading the alley behind the bars, since it has been noted to be in bad shape. The council voted to approve this.
Brincks reported regarding the recent citywide cleanup event, saying, “It actually went extremely well.” A reminder was given about the upcoming primary election for commissioner, on May 14. The next regular meeting of the city council will be June 4 at 6:30 p.m. The public is welcome.