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Lanesboro Council rescinds agreement over Church Hill alley


Fri, Dec 20th, 2002
Posted in Features

All was not silent as Bethlehem Church members joined the Lanesboro City Council at its regular bimonthly meeting Monday night, December 16, to discuss the Church Hill alley. After Mayor John Brose updated the church members on the stalemated situation with developer Dan Anderson, council member Kevin Drake made a motion to rescind the contract with Anderson; the motion to rescind the contract passed unanimously.

Council member Peggy Hanson then suggested closing the alley for the winter safety. The position of the church members was that closing the alley would cause more of a hazard. Pointing out that people exert extra caution knowing the alley is bad and that Andy Drake has been keeping the alley open for years, Mayor Brose asked if Andy could once again keep it open this winter. Discussing potential hazards caused by the water running off the old school building, city attorney Tom Manion reminded the council that such nuisances need to be identified by Andy Drake and reported to the council. The alley will remain open this winter with further work on the alley to be decided in the future.

Police Chief

The council then turned their attention to the hiring of the new police chief. City Manager Barb Hoyhtya informed the council that Stuart Stotts had passed the post board exam as well as the physical and psychological exams, and will be able to take the firearms test with Sheriff Jim Connolly. Job description details were clarified as the council decided that the police car would be used only for official business, not to be taken home by the chief, and not to leave the city except on official business. The new chief will be on one yearís probation with evaluations taking place quarterly. All state requirements such as licensing must be met by the new chief with the city paying the licensing cost ($95). The chief will be expected to have a maximum response time of ten minutes.

In the letter of agreement to Mr. Stotts, the city will include the hours to be worked (43 per week) and the hourly pay ($15.45 per hour). Stotts will be asked to take training on gender and age issues as well as a week-long class presented at Fort Ripley by the post board.

Budget

The 2003 budget was examined one last time before approval. Kevin Drake reported to the council that the head of the Park Department said he could cut a full-time seasonal person. Councilman Jerome Halvorson suggested other employees might be able to help with mowing. City Manager Hoyhtya told the council she had asked the department heads to do work plans which would show busy and slack times for each department.

Mayor John Brose cautioned the council, "Donít jump to any changes tonight, you can work with that for the next half year. Look at budget shifts rather than cuts."

Acknowledging Local Government Aid might very well be less than anticipated, the council noted the possible need for further cuts later. Kevin Drake questioned the current number of police hours and a $9,000 salary increase for the library; Peggy Hanson mentioned the amount paid for summer recreation.

Further budget concerns were caused by the pay equity situation in the city positions. Currently, the city is above market wages for male employees and below for females. To rectify this, the council opted to increase the wages of female employees by $100 per month, one of the options presented by the state.

Peggy Hanson pointed out the Lanesboro city administrator is female and is paid significantly less than the administrators in area cities; this is one of the causes of the pay equity non-compliance.

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