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New city attorney in Fountain

Fri, Jun 13th, 2014
Posted in Fountain Government

Scott Springer of Springer & Gumbel speaks to the council in hopes of his firm becoming Fountain’s new City Attorney, which the council later approved. Shown in photos are Scott Springer, John Hanson, and Chad Wangen. Photo by Barb Jeffers

“We would be more than happy to become your city attorneys,” expressed Scott Springer of Springer & Gumbel, P.A. as he spoke to the Fountain City Council at their meeting June 5, 2014. With former City Attorney Kelly Wagner leaving to work in the Rochester City Attorney’s office in Rochester, Minn., the City of Fountain was in need of a new city attorney.

At a later point in the meeting the council and Police Chief Mosher discussed the advantages of having Springer & Gumbel as the city attorney, citing their numerous attorneys and offices in Preston, Chatfield, and Spring Valley would make contacting them easier. After the discussion the council approved the hire of Springer & Gumbel as the new city attorney for the City of Fountain at a rate of $125/hr.

City Engineer Dave Morrill gave an update on the AT&T microwave dish to be installed on the water tower. Welding would be the preferred option for mounting the dish. The council will have the water tower power washed by Water Tower Clean & Coat, Inc. of Lodi, Wisconsin for a price of $2,200 before installation of the dish.

Dave Morrill discussed the changes to the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) agreement between the City of Fountain and Valley Design. The council discussed the changes and feel the agreement needs to be “fine-tuned” before finalizing the agreement. Among concerns is the decanting of water, at what rate the water is discharged, how long the water is allowed to settle in totes before it is decanted, and having a procedure in place for taking samples.

Another area of concern is suds turning up at the WWTP. Council member Jim Schott stated, “We have to get to the bottom of this or this is going to keep going on no matter how many agreements we have with anybody.” Schott emphasized the next time the suds appear a sample needs to be taken to be tested to find out exactly what it is. Schott said, “Let’s face it, it could be coming from anywhere.” Dave Morrill will adjust the agreement to satisfy both parties’ interests and will present the agreement to the council at the July 2014 meeting.

Consent agenda items approved included the minutes from the May 1, 2014 meeting, Treasurer’s report, and monthly city and Fire Department bills.

In City Maintenance John Hanson discussed flushing hydrants. He would like to set up a schedule for hydrant flushing so residents will know when they will be flushed.

John presented a quote for street repair from Rochester Sand & Gravel and will present additional quotes at the next meeting. The city has $78,407 in the capital improvement fund plus an additional $15,000 which was budgeted for the capital improvement fund that could be used but the street repairs, however, the council will stagger street repairs over time so as to not deplete the capital improvement fund.

City Clerk Ronda Flattum informed the council of the Preston Ambulance Appreciation event which will be held June 18, 2014 at 6:30 p.m., which Ronda and at least one council member will attend. The City of Fountain website is being viewed with 144 visits since May 16, 2014.

Police Chief Tom Mosher reported activity for the month of May 2014. A new defibrillator has been picked up and is in the squad car. The previous squad car defibrillator will be mounted in the Fire Hall.

May 2, Chief Mosher interviewed a third person about the break-in at Willie’s grocery store. Chief Mosher does not believe this person was involved in the break-in but was able to give information.

May 6, contacted the Albert Lea Police Department as Chief Mosher was told that the suspects in Willie’s break-in had went to Albert Lea. Officer Mosher was informed that the same suspects were caught in the act of another crime in a commercial building the night before.

On May 8, Chief Mosher was notified of a possible break-in and upon investigation found a baseball outside of a broken garage window.

May 16, Chief Mosher attended an Emergency Responders recognition at Fillmore Central High School. Also on the 16th Officer Mosher received dog complaints, and spoke with a mother who had lost contact with an adult daughter and aided in helping her get in contact with the daughter.

Chief Mosher additionally reported that on June 6, 2014 a resident’s dog was run over on County Road 8. The dog had not been contained and was hit and killed.

In New Business, the council approved a donation of $100 to Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) to aid their support to local communities. Approved Resolution #187 in support of Fountain Trail Days for insurance purposes and Resolution #188 for Contribution from Fountain Relief Association for Trail Days Event.

Approved a Retro-reflective Sign Policy as stipulated by the State of Minnesota which must be in place by June 14, 2014. Signs will be assessed every year on high traffic roads and every three years for all other roads.

Next meeting is Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fountain City Hall. The public is welcome to attend all council meetings.

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