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Chatfield Center for the Arts annual update

Fri, Apr 18th, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Government

F. Mike Tuohy, representing the Chatfield Center for the Arts (CCA) volunteer committee, addressed the city council at their April 14 meeting. He started the annual report with this big question. Where are we at with the Minnesota bonding bill? The answer, “We don’t know.”

Tuohy said if we don’t get the money, we stay where we are. The bonding requested for the CCA would be just for the renovation of the building and work on the site. Renovation of the CCA is expected to cost about $8 million. Bonding funds will not go toward operating or maintenance expenses. Significant improvements to the CCA have been made over the last several years with the help of volunteers and the donation of their time. However, it will take funding to make the planned big remodel improvements.

Tuohy said the regional aspect is growing, noting that at a recent program about two-thirds of those in attendance were from out of town. He maintained he didn’t see any dark clouds in the future, adding the CCA is bigger than just the city of Chatfield. Ideally, $5 million should be raised creating an endowment, so the city doesn’t need to continue to invest in the CCA. Tuohy stated the “investment shouldn’t be forever... but the returns should be forever.”

It was noted that Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL), Chair of House Capital Investment Committee, is pushing for the CCA to be included in the bonding bill.

A job creation analysis due to the renovation of the CCA estimated that 89 jobs would be created by the construction project. Another 55 jobs could be created indirectly related to tourism, operation of the CCA, and through greater demand for goods and services in Chatfield’s business district. Further investment in the CCA is projected to have a significant positive economic impact on the community.

Fire house kitchen

Up to $30,000 was approved for renovation of the fire hall kitchen (Councilor Dave Frank abstained). Councilor Mike Urban commented that the kitchen really did need some TLC. There were two bids. The lower bid from Paul Tuohy, Tuohy Construction, was accepted.

The kitchen is old and outdated. The remodel including new cabinets will make it more usable and easier to clean. An overhead door will be installed to help close it off. Members of the fire department plan to do a lot of the work themselves. Funding will come from charitable gambling gains.

Other Business In Brief

•Tony Lammers noted that the purchase of a new half-ton pick-up had been approved at the last meeting. He asked that an upgrade to a three-quarter ton pick-up (2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD 4WD regular cab) be purchased instead. The larger pick-up can be purchased for a total cost of $28,150 or $2,630 more than the half-ton. The purchase of the upgraded pick-up with plow package was approved.

•The 5th grade girl scout troop was given permission to paint the Girl Scout room as requested.

•A resolution supporting the annual Off-Road Vehicle Grant in Aid application was approved for ATV trail.

•The Growers’ Market will sell in City Park from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays starting on May 1 through October 30.

•The appointment of Mike Buss to the Cable Access Board for a term which expires in 2017 was approved.

•A resolution to support the grant application to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the Federal Recreational Trail Grant Program was approved. The money would be used to improve the Chatfield Trails parking lot and to build a 10 foot by 20 foot three-sided shelter at the trailhead parking lot. The city would have to provide a 25 percent match.

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