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Preston hires Public Works Director

Mon, Feb 13th, 2012
Posted in Preston Features

Jim Bakken was selected by the Preston Public Utility to be the new Public Works Director effective January 24. City Administrator Joe Hoffman said they had an excellent candidate pool to choose from. Mayor Kurt Reicks was absent.

Licensed Contractors

Hoffman updated the council on the Minnesota statute that requires residential contractors to be licensed. Planning and Zoning has directed Hoffman to work with city attorney Dwight Luhmann to draft a “home owner affidavit.” A home owner can do his own construction without a license, but if the home owner acts as the general contractor and hires one or more contractors to do the work, they must be licensed by the state.

Minnesota statute 326B.85 states that “a political subdivision shall not issue a building permit to an unlicensed person who is required to be licensed under sections 326B.802 to 326B.885.” Luhmann explained this is a requirement of every city in the state. The statute is intended to protect the home owner. It does not apply to contractors doing work for a commercial entity.

Other Business In Brief

•The council approved the hire of Ruth McGarvey as an EMT as recommended by director Ryan Throckmorton. She has volunteered in the past with the Preston Ambulance Service and is taking a refresher class.

•The city is looking for a suitable location for the DVS motorcycle test area. It is currently on North Street adjacent to the Post Office. Hoffman said this is no longer considered to be an adequate site. The current lease agreement with DPS Driver and vehicle services runs out in March.

•A new mutual aid agreement with Rushford between the two city ambulance services was approved as recommended by Throckmorton. Preston has mutual aid agreements with Rushford, Spring Valley, Lanesboro, Chatfield, and Harmony.

•The city council approved a donation of $100 to the Post-Prom Committee as it has for the last three years. The Post-Prom Parties are in the community interest providing a safe late night activity.

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