The Ostrander City Council held a brief special meeting on September 8, with all members present (Stephanie Start, Dan Hellerud, DJ Start, Vernon Thompson, Mayor Pam Kunert, and City Clerk Wendy Brincks). The first portion of the meeting was a “work session” during which the council discussed uses for some of the city’s CARES Act funding. Public Works Director Jeremy Runkle also spoke with the council about the options for the city to have a new skid loader available for his use in clearing snow, moving dirt and/or rock, and other uses throughout the year. Runkle shared several options for leasing a skid loader, and shared the numbers on the “buy out” pricing available when the lease would be up. Wendy Brincks said, “We did budget $20,000 to $25,000 for a skid loader purchase, but obviously none of these would fall within that realm.” She pointed out that previously, the city had considered buying a used skid loader.
Dan Hellerud suggested that a skid loader could be rented on a daily basis when needed, but Runkle said that would not be feasible, since he may not know days ahead of time when he would need to use a skid loader. He also explained that currently, he is to get council approval for any expenditures over $200, which he said would mean he would need to know one to two months ahead of time, so that he could ask council approval if he planned to use a skid loader for several hours. Hellerud stated, “I just don’t think we should buy a new one.” Runkle said he wasn’t necessarily suggesting that, either. No action was taken at this time.
Following the work session, the council opened the actual council meeting. The council approved the city’s proposed budget for the upcoming year, as presented by Wendy Brincks. The council discussed the offer of $35,000 for a used pumper truck for the fire department. As mentioned at the September 1 council meeting, the $35,000 was for only the truck, and additional costs would be incurred to get it fully ready for service. The $35,000 offer was accepted, and the council approved additional costs to have the truck hauled to Ostrander, get lettering put on (slightly over $1,000), installing a pump heater (around $5,000), and a thorough service job (about $800). Along with the truck’s purchase price, the grand total came to $43,210. Brincks pointed out that a grant would likely be available to help with a portion of the cost.
Mayor Kunert brought up the pictures of the various fire departments from throughout Fillmore County, which were recently published in the Fillmore County Journal. She expressed disappointment that Ostrander’s Fire Department picture was from last year, so it did not accurately reflect the current members of the crew. She stated, “It appeared that every single fire department and first responder department had new pictures… our picture is way outdated… Ostrander was the only one I saw that was from 2019. I just think that’s not right.” Fire Chief Jason Rice said he believed the 2019 picture was still current, regarding who is on the crew.
The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, October 6 at 6:30 p.m., in the community center. The public is welcome at all meetings, other than special closed meetings.