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The Lanesboro City Council held its first meeting of the year 2001 on Monday, January 8. Two newly elected city council members, John Dollar and Margaret (Peggy) Hanson, took the oath of office, as did re-elected mayor John Brose. They join City Council members Kevin Drake and Hal Cropp on this year’s council. For the most part, the meeting focused on end of year reports as well as new city appointments and schedules.
•Fire Department and Ambulance Report
Fire Chief Jim Peterson reported on year 2000 activities. Peterson told the council that there were 69 ambulance calls the past year. This is short of the average of 80. He said that the department was paged 19 times on fire calls, which translated into 401 man hours. According to Peterson, two of the fire calls were structural fires. New Fire Chief, Kieth Eide was introduced to the council.
The Planning & Zoning Committee is continuing to review its ordinances and is presently working on defining what constitutes an inn, a hotel, motel and bed and breakfast.
•Police Department Report
Police Chief John Carlin reported on December and end of year police activity. There were 105 written reports during the year 2000, up from 93 the previous year. Meanwhile, the number of citizen complaints doubled from 1999, from 42 to 84. Carlin also reported that traffic stops and the number of citations issued were down over 20% from 1999.
Following considerable discussion, the Fillmore County Journal was named the city’s legal paper for 2001. Editor’s for both the Republican Leader and Fillmore County Journal were present to answer questions.
Discussion focused on circulation and readership of the two papers.
Council member Kevin Drake raised a question about past coverage of council meetings, where Monday proceedings were sometimes printed more than one week later. The Editor of the Republican Leader said that this was due to printing schedules and reporter assignments.
The Journal was asked if the paper intended to have a reporter cover the council proceedings. The Editor told the council that the paper would cover city council meetings.
Council member Hal Cropp said that the council has talked about trying to better communicate with the general populace and that he saw paying for readership (in a subscription paper) as being a barrier to the distribution of information.
Council member Peggy Hanson said that the community would be better served if the paper that covered school activities (Republican Leader) also covered the city’s affairs. The Leader bid $3.50 per column inch for legal notices, $4.25 if it was also carried in the free River Valley Reader. The Journal bid $4.35 per column inch.
Following the discussion, Peggy Hanson made a motion to name the Republican Leader the city’s legal paper for 2001. The motion failed for lack of a second. Kevin Drake then moved to name the Fillmore County Journal the city’s legal paper, which was seconded by Hal Cropp. The vote was three to one in favor, with Hanson opposed.
The council was asked by the Fillmore County Zoning Department to respond to a proposed subdivision to be built in Holt Township south of the city. Because the development is within two miles of the Lanesboro, the city can require that the developer follow the city subdivision ordinance.
Jesse and Anne Buggs are planning to develop a 19 acre site on land formerly owned by Buford Anderson. Three homes are planned for the site.
As the city council had just received the notice and a copy of the plat, no action was taken at Monday’s meeting.
Peggy Hanson commented that it was important that the city take control of what is happening on its borders and hoped that the Planning & Zoning Commission would take up the matter.
The council will discuss the issue at their January 22 meeting. Should Lanesboro not exercise their right, the Fillmore County Planning Commission is scheduled to take the matter up at their January 25 meeting.
The city council formally thanked the American Legion, the Fire Department and Community Electric for their work on the city signs at the entrances to the city.
The next meeting of the Lanesboro City Council is Monday, January 22, at 5:15 p.m.
City of Lanesboro 2001 Appointments
•Acting Mayor: Kevin Drake
•City Attorney: Tom Manion
•Financial Institution: Signal Bank
•Check Signers: Clerk, Deputy Clerk, Mayor.
•Planning & Zoning Commission: Marlin Miner and Chris Oden (3 year terms); Council member John Dollar.
•Park Board: Margaret Nelson, Diana Capron, Paul Fry, Celeste Birkland, Orville Amdahl; Council member Peggy Hanson
•Public Utilities Commission: Gerald Evenson (3 year term); Council member Kevin Drake.
•Library Board: Carla Noack, Andrea Miehlisch, and Ann Osland (3 year terms) and Dale Forester to complete Don Ward (1 year term).
•Heritage Preservation Commission: Marlin Miner (3 year term)
•Regional Arts Center: Council member Peggy Hanson.
By John Torgrimson