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Lanesboro Council responds to citizen requests, adjusts budget

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

Art promotions, a raffle, a dance, and the brush dump were on the minds of citizens as they addressed the Lanesboro City Council April 21, 2003.

Holly McDonough, Executive Director of the Cornucopia Art Center, asked the council permission to use sandwich boards in front of the center to promote events that are free and open to the public. Stating that the sandwich board advertising would only be used the day of the events, McDonough shared a list of five upcoming events with the council, adding that Cornucopia was looking at increasing the number of artists’ demonstrations and possibly adding poetry and literary events as well.

The council suggested the board be leaned against the building in order to keep the sidewalk free and approved the use of the advertisement with this provision.

•Dave Campbell asked for and received from the council a raffle permit for the 19th Annual Turkey Federation Banquet to be held August 16th.

•Fire Chief Keith Eide then requested permission for the Firemen’s Relief Association to hold a street dance in front of the fire hall during Buffalo Bill Days. The Buffalo Bill Days’ Committee was aware of and supported the request. A representative of the committee said they "wanted to try something different."

After stipulating that the Firemen’s Relief Association would need to cover the cost of additional police services and insurance, the council approved the planned 8:00 p.m. to midnight street dance. The council suggested that the fire department contact nearby businesses and make sure they were okay with the plan.

•Robert Thompson spoke next about the hours of the brush dump.

"It’s foolish to have a brush dump and not have it open," Thompson stated as he asked the council to open the dump more often or make keys available from city employees. Thompson spoke of his frustration when he loaded his truck with tree trimmings, drove to the dump to dispose of them, and then discovered it was closed. Currently, the dump is open the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 9:00 a.m. to noon with a volunteer manning the site.

City Administrator Barb Hoyhtya stated that people had left garbage such as microwaves, refrigerators, recliners, and wood from demolition and construction at the dump, under the old key system. Hoyhtya went on to remind the council that they need to have an ordinance in place in order to fine people who dump inappropriate garbage at the site.

The council took no action on Thompson’s request.

Financial decisions

The council considered putting the extra money from the proceeds of the sale of the clinic building into CDs. Barb Hoyhtya will research amounts and rates for the next meeting.

Turning their attention to the budget, the council chose to make proposed cuts totaling $32,049 from the budget. These cuts include $5,893 from general government, $9,600 from the Park Department, $5,300 from the Police Department, $9,650 from the Street Department, and $1,606 from the Library. Because of the budget cuts, and the fact the Fillmore County Commissioners have not fully funded the library, the library will be closed Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.. Additional cuts will be made to the budget as suggested cuts come in from the Fire and Ambulance Departments.

In the final financial decision of the night, the council resolved to move forward on bonding $98,000 for the walking bridge project.

Committee reports

•Public Utilities—Bids on a 720 rpm diesel engine have been opened with a used engine cost coming in at $182,000 less than a new one. A public hearing has been set in mid-May on the proposed generator purchase.

•EDA—The EDA members, while frustrated at not being able to hire for the proposed EDA position, are looking at ways to work with the county EDA in strategy planning and are sending a positive letter offering help to the arts organizations.

•Park Board—Mitch Gilbert has chosen seeds (foxtail sedge, cord grass, Joe Pye Weed, Cup plant, and many other native plants) that he is offering to plant in the Bass Pond parking area drainage swales to filter storm water and buffer the effects of run-off on the Root River. These plants would require little maintenance in the future with only a burn-off every 3 to 5 years. The council opted to accept Gilbert’s offer.

Wanda Hanson can be contacted at news@fillmorecountyjournal.com

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