Due to COVID-19, the regular meeting, June 16, 2020, of the Spring Grove City Council was held remotely via Zoom to comply with social distancing policies and practices.
All members of the Spring Grove City Council were in attendance: Sarah Schroeder, Karen Folstad, Travis Torgerson, Scott Solberg, and Chad Roland.
The council unanimously approved the consent agenda: May 19, 2020 minutes; claims and accounts; and Resolution 20-31 Authorizing Transfer of Funds, Resolution 20-32 Accepting Gift from Spring Grove Athletic Boosters, Resolution 20-33 Accepting Gift from Gemini Incorporated, and Resolution 20-34 Appointing Additional Election Judge.
Reds IGA owner, Pat Longmire, answered the council’s questions regarding the proposed brewpub that will share space with Jo’s Coffee House, 500 E. Main Street. David Eiken, the owner of neighboring Grove Plumbing & Heating, expressed interest in making sure all permits are in place and emphasized that as a business owner, he is in total support of the proposed brewpub. Solberg made a motion to approve the proposed amendment to the conditional use permit Resolution 20-34 Granting a Conditional Use Permit. Approved.
Scott Huneke, WHKS & Co., informed the city that the soil at the site of the water tower was contaminated by petroleum. American Engineering Testing later confirmed that the soil was contaminated. The city received good news from WHKS that the Minnesota Department of Commerce “Petrofund” will reimburse 90% of the costs to clean the site. The material will be delivered the week of June 15 with work to begin in July.
The city received quotes from Dunn Blacktop Company of Winona, Minn., for $81,708 and Four Seasons Maintenance LLC. of Spring Grove, Minn., for $111,210 for the 2020 street paving project. WHKS & Co. recommended that the city award the project to the lowest bidder, Dunn Blacktop Company. This was approved.
Spring Grove Assisted Living submitted a request to block off 5th Avenue SE between the assisted living facility and the Gundersen Tweeten Care Center. The purpose of the request is to provide entertainment throughout the summer for residents of both facilities. Organizers asked to block off the street from 2-5 p.m., which includes setup and teardown. Organizers have not finalized the number of events or the dates when the street will need to be closed. The council approved the request as long as emergency access to the clinic, assisted living, or nursing home is not impeded. Organizers will also need to notify City Hall one week before the event and must properly block off the street. The city will notify residents on the Spring Grove Facebook page.
City Hall will remain closed to the public. Residents are using the dropbox to drop off payments and any necessary documents. The staff checks the dropbox once an hour. There is signage instructing residents to knock on the front door if they need to talk to staff. The staff will update the sign so that the process for reaching staff is clear. Staff will also use the city’s Facebook page to let the community know the process for reaching staff.
Organizers have cancelled the 2020 Music in the Park.
Updates to the swimming pool policies due to COVID-19 were shared on Facebook. The city administrator informed the council, “that signups for swimming lessons have been going crazy.” Swimming pool staff will post the sanitizing schedule just like they did at the playgrounds. Staff will keep track of the swimmers by having users enter one door and go out the other door.
The summer recreation program started with 125 kids.
The city’s overnight parking lot, playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, and public restrooms are open.
The council spoke in detail about renting out the Fest Building, utilizing the concession stand this summer, and the use of the log cabin. The log cabin is open for worship, with the capacity capped at 50%. The concession stand can be open if needed, and only prepackaged food and drinks will be available for sale. The Fest building can be rented, but the agreement is contingent on the governor’s orders at the time the event is held. Right now, 25 is the maximum number that the Fest Building can accommodate and 250 outside. The city reserves the right to cancel any event per the governor’s order with a full refund. If the customer cancels, they get a full refund. Approved.
The Corner Store is open at 50% capacity. The first day was busy, but the business has dropped off since then. Take out sales are better than bar sales.
The council approved the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan prepared by city staff.
The council approved the hiring of Kennedy Bornholdt, Ellie Halverson, Blaine Storlie, Chandler Bergrud, Logan Brumm, Jaxon Strinmoen, and Sam Bratland for the summer recreation program.
The council approved the Caledonia Argus as the City’s Official Newspaper.
The MOU of Understanding requesting that the treasurer/deputy clerk position be added to Union Contract was unanimously approved by the Council.
Council members unanimously approved personnel policies, (1) Jury Duty 3-15, (2) Personal Leave of Absence 3-25, and (3) Paid Time Off 3-30.
There is a special meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 30, at 6 p.m. at 168 West Main Street to review the Comprehensive Plan. The Council prefers to meet in person to discuss the Comprehensive Plan.
The next regular Council meeting will be July 21, 2020, at 6 p.m. at the Fest Building. The public will be able to dial in.
Council members were reminded that the city council election filing period is July 28, 2020, through August 11, 2020, for Schroeder, Folstad, and Torgerson.