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Lanesboro City Council


Fri, May 11th, 2001
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Council deals with art commission business, creates parking study groupBy John TorgrimsonMonday, May 14, 2001

After six years with the Lanesboro Police Department, three as Chief of Police, John Carlin will step down as the city’s top law enforcement official. His last day on the job was May 12.

In announcing his resignation at Monday’s city council meeting, Carlin said that he has really enjoyed working with the city and the people of Lanesboro.

“But I am at a point where I am not running the department the way that I want to,” Carlin said by way of explanation. “So, I am getting out.”

The city council appointed Police Officer John Tuchek as interim police chief effective May 13.

The council was quick to thank Carlin for his services to the city. Council member Peggy Hanson noted Carlin’s efforts at mentoring younger officers. Carlin said that in his short time with the city, he had trained in six other officers.

While Carlin said that he was unsure about his future plans, he did say that he would be doing some work for the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department.

Carlin suggested increasing the wages of Tuchek. “Every chief in the area is probably making a minimum of $5 more per hour,” Carlin noted.

The council discussed briefly the need to assess the law enforcement needs of the community and see what action is needed in the long term.

The council asked Carlin and Tuchek to meet with City Administrator, Barbara Hoythya and come up with some recommmendations for the city to consider.

Midwest Wireless Receiver


The council reached an agreement with Midwest Wireless to install a receiver on the Zenith Street Watertower. Under the terms of the agreement, Midwest would pay the city $300 per month for a five year period for the rights to use the tower. The telecommunications firm would then have the right to renew the agreement for two more five year periods. Any increases in rates would be based on increases to the Consumer Price Index.

The number of times that Midwest Wireless would be able to renew the contract was a sticky point with some council members. Midwest wanted to have the agreement for five, five year periods, or 25 years. But Council members Peggy Hanson and Hal Cropp thought that this was too long.

Andy Bobryzke, representing Midwest Wireless, was quick to agree to the three term period, noting that this would meet his firm’s needs..

Before reaching a decision, the council reviewed similar types of agreements that various cities had with telecommunications companies.

The council voted to approve the contract assuming that specific language to key amendments can be agreed upon between attorneys for the city and Midwest Wireless.

Midwest hopes to begin construction on the project as soon as possible.

A Silver lining in every cloud?


While recent flooding wreaked havok with the fishing pier and parking area below the historic Lanesboro dam, the city got a bit of good luck out of the high waters. The gates were opened up and, voila, the city no longer has a silting problem. It appears that what nature has put there, nature has taken away.

In other good luck, Council member Kevin Drake of the Public Utilities Commission reported that the city has received two bids to remove the old generators. The Public Utilities Commission awarded the low bid to A-Line in Waterloo, Iowa, which came in under estimates at $28,000. The utilities commission awarded the low bid The company intends to cut out the old generators and use them for scrap metal. The council took no action on the matter at this time.

Housing and Economic Development


Council member Hal Cropp reported on the Economic Development Authority (EDA). Cropp said that the EDA has been looking at housing and economic development issues. One idea would be to ask Lanesboro Industries to underwright the costs of contracting with the Southeast Minnesota Development Corporation for an Economic Developer to work in the city one day per week. He said that the cities of Mabel and Houston have had some success doing this.

Cropp also reported that the EDA has set the rent at the incubator building at $1.50 per square foot, which includes utilities.
Other Business


• The council approved a rate increase for Waste Management, which amounts to an increase in the base rate of 20¢ per month and an increase of 5¢ per bag. The increase is good for the length of the contract which expires on April 1, 2002.

• The council authorized the City Administrator, Barb Hoyhtya to begin the process of conducting an engineering feasibility study to have a street extended on Viking Drive. The request came from Robert Dale Peterson who hopes to develop one lot in the area. Hoythya will report back to the council

• Council member Peggy Hanson reported that the Park Board will look at a river walk way at their next meeting.

• The bid for the Coffee Street road project has been awarded to American Plumbing from Winona. The city administrator reported that the contractor intends to hold weekly communication meetings with the city, businesses and residents.

• The council authorized the city administrator and city attorney to look at the issue of business licenses. In particular, the council is interested in home based businesses, where operators are not licensed by the state, such as massage therapists and tatoo artists. As one council member said, “If we have a business license, then we will know who is doing what where.”

• In response to some citizen complaints, the city wants to research the public burning ordinance, as it appears that it is not being enforced. On one hand public burning is not allowed in town, but campfires are a regular feature at the city-owned campgrounds.

• Lanesboro now has a public access channel: Channel 10, where public information is transmitted via Mediacom cable. A committee has been formed to develop and regulate the channel. It is hoped that the city will develop its own programing.

• Kevin Drake was acting mayor at the meeting with the absence of Mayor John Brose.

By John Torgrimson

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