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New Prosecuting Attorney in Chatfield


Fri, Jun 28th, 2013
Posted in Chatfield All

At the June 24 meeting of the Chatfield City Council, Mayor Russ Smith announced that two attorneys had expressed interest in providing prosecuting services for the city. Matthew Opat recently submitted his resignation as the city’s prosecuting attorney. Opat is to be sworn in as District Court Judge in Minnesota’s Third Judicial District on June 28.

Smith made it clear that both attorneys, Scott Springer and Lee Novotny, were impressive and would do a great job. He said the city staff has put a premium on the close access they have enjoyed with Opat. Scott Springer is taking over Opat’s practice and will be located across the street from city hall. Due to that added value, Smith recommended Springer. The council approved Springer. Councilor Paul Novotny abstained.

City Attorney Fred Suhler will continue with civil issues and Springer will only work with police related cases.

Chatfield Receives

Excellence Award

In 2010 the Chatfield EDA acquired the former school buildings to repurpose them for use as an arts and cultural center. It is believed that the center can support complementary businesses in the downtown area.

The City of Excellence Award for 2013 was awarded to Chatfield for promoting economic development through the Center for the Arts. It was one of six honors that went to cities within the state from the League of Minnesota Cities.

Other Business In Brief

• A lease for Hiawatha Broadband Corporation was approved to place Internet antennae on the water tower. The goal of the company is to increase high speed Internet access, especially in rural areas that are in a line of sight from the tower. The lease is for five years. The city will receive $300 per month. The rent will increase three percent per year.

• David Morrill, McGhie and Betts reviewed two bids for reroofing the original city hall portion of the Thurber Building. There was considerable discussion about the two sky lights and whether or not to refurbish the old for historical, aesthetic value or to install new sky light domes. Morrill recommended they go with the new sky light domes. The council approved the Schwickerts bid at about $52,473 with the new sky lights. The roof itself will have a 15 year warranty.

•A payment of $99,195.82 was approved to Pember Companies, Inc. for 2013 street improvements. Morrill said they are within budget for the completion of the project. The final completion date in the contract is July 26.

• The first consideration of Ordinance 408 zoning revisions was approved. The revisions will develop consistency in the zoning district for post framed construction.

• The Public Services Committee discussed busing transportation to Rochester. An additional time of day for the bus to run was discussed. The bus service is available to people who wish to use it, not just Mayo Clinic employees.

•A resolution was adopted supporting and authorizing the submission of an application to Minnesota Management and Budget requesting funds to be included in the 2014 bonding bill for renovation of the Center for the Arts.

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