The Tuesday, February 5 Rushford Village Council meeting was brief, but the council in attendance hit at a number of minor items as well as several issues brought on by the recent weather. Mayor Gordon Johnson and Councilor Chad Rasmussen were absent. Acting Mayor Dennis Overland conducted the meeting.
The recent thaw of snow in city culverts in south Rushford saw a significant amount of water backing up along Sherwood and Goodrich Streets. The water was largely stopped by a State Highway 43 culvert, owned and maintained by the state, that was plugged.
According to Councilor Rich Smith, who lives in the area, one property, with a newly constructed garage, was unable to utilize the garage due to it being surrounded by water. “The water is just sitting there, backed up in yards,” added Smith. “There’s that much water running back there.” Public Works Supervisor Travis Scheck dug out the state’s culvert to allow the water to begin flowing. “There’s so much snow in the culvert that I had to dig it out.”
“That’s mother nature,” quipped Councilor Mike Ebner.
In other public works issues, the council has given approval for the hiring of Curt Paulson as additional plowing help. Paulson has a CDL, but has not gone through pre-employment protocol such as a physical and drug screening. Scheck maintained that he wouldn’t need to if he didn’t operate the “big truck.”
City Clerk Mary Miner suggested Paulson go through the protocols, due to already having a CDL for the rig, if needed, in case the need for a backup driver arises. “If you need the big truck tomorrow, he either should go for it or not,” said Miner. “If he is going to be working for us he should be in the pool.”
“It would be nice to have someone as backup for the big truck,” added Ebner.
“It opens up options,” chimed in Overland.
With the cold weather, Scheck and his crew also saw part of the skid loader gel up. He was able to secure a $379 price on a new 190,000 BTU part from Hammel Equipment. Scheck noted parts are available at a 5% reduction this week.
Ebner indicated that a replacement part on a needed piece of equipment should be ordered as needed. Scheck indicated he would rather run it by council first rather. Scheck also requested new snow chains for the truck, which was also under his approved spending limit. The council approved purchase of both the part and the chains.
In planning and zoning, Zoning Administrator Jon Pettit indicated just two permits in the last month. “There’s not much happening in this weather. We’ll have more coming as things open up.”
The Planning and Zoning Commission is intending to discuss and make a final determination on moving meeting times. Currently, they meet at 6 a.m., once a month, and it’s become a problem for some, including possibly filling the last commission vacancy. They are considering moving it to the third Tuesday of each month, 5:30 p.m. There are two possible persons to fill the vacancy.
In smaller matters, the council approved sending Miner and Scheck to the 2019 Safety and Loss Control Workshop. “Even if you get one or two good classes out of it, it’s worth it to go,” said Overland.
The next regularly scheduled meeting is Tuesday, February 19, at 7 p.m., at the Village Hall. The public is encouraged to attend.