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Lanesboro City Council Report: Lighting up Lanesboro


Fri, Sep 8th, 2006
Posted in Government

Lighting the town claimed much of the Lanesboro Council's attention as they met September 5. Streetlights for the downtown area were the first to be discussed. With an estimated cost of around $30,000 for the ten downtown lights and cement pads, funding the installation of the lights was a concern. The money received from the cheese factory sale is on option. Although Mayor Steve Rahn and Council member Robert Norby were concerned it was getting too late in the season to replace the light poles this year, Council member Joe O'Connor encouraged the group to go forward on the lights as he reminded the council there was a safety concern with the old poles. He also pointed to the opening of the new Commonweal Theatre in the spring as a "significant event," and mentioned it would be nice to have the new lights installed. The council decided to research the costs and time needed for installation to see if it could be completed yet this fall.

Holiday lighting was next on the council's discussion agenda. Last year, some buildings in the downtown area were outlined with white lights. In order to continue the project, every other or every third building will need to have an outside outlet installed for the lights. Obviously, the city will need permission from building owners to install the outlets. The council discussed how to estimate the costs of running the lights so the building owner could be reimbursed for the power supplied to that outlet in order to power the lights on nearby buildings. City Administrator Bobbie Torgerson will check with owners to see if they are willing to help with the costs of installing the outlets and lights as well as seeing if local electricians might be interested in helping with the installations. Speaking from last year's experience, she reminded the council it would be much easier for the workers to get the lights installed before the cold weather hits.

Once new light poles are installed downtown, lights could also be wrapped around the poles and plugged into the outlet included on the poles. Unfortunately, the poles on Coffee Street do not have outlets; another solution would need to be found for those poles. As a last resort, the city does still have the battered, old decorations that could be patched together for another year's service if necessary.

Vandalism

While the council was worrying about making the city look good, apparently somebody in town decided to make it look bad. Vandals used spray paint to write and draw vulgarities on the skatepark and its signs as well as on signs and in restrooms in the city. Although the park's half pipes could be cleaned with gasoline, the council is actively searching for the vandals. "We try to make things look nice and people just wreck it!" declared an exasperated Torgerson. The council encourages anyone with information on the vandalism to call.

Budget

The council approved the 2007 budget and set the proposed 2007 levy at $364,486, a 4.2 percent increase from last year's levy. The Truth in Taxation Hearing Dates were set for 5:30 p.m., Monday, December 4 before the council meeting with a continuation date of 5:00 p.m., Monday, December 18. The actual adoption hearing was set for December 18 at 5:30 p.m.

Torgerson noted there were "not a lot of changes overall." The LGA went down by $3,000 from 2006. The police service costs increased by ten percent-a situation already discussed by the concerned council.

Auditing fees went up by 48 percent. Torgerson brought up her concerns that this year's audit was conducted too close to the date of the presentation of the report and that there was an inexperienced staff preparing the audit.

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