Spring Grove City Council members met Tuesday, October 17 at 168 West Main Street in Room 100. Mayor Saundra Solum called the meeting to order at 6 p.m. and led with the Pledge of Allegiance. Council members present included Mayor Solum, Chad Rohland, Trent Turner, Heather Edgington and Karen Folstad. In addition, City/Clerk Administrator Jana Elton attended.
Councilors approved adoption of the agenda, as well as the consent agenda which includes approval of minutes from the September 19 regular council meeting, claims/accounts, resolution 23-46 and resolution 23-47.
City/Clerk Administrator Elton introduced the new Houston County Deputy. Turner added to the introduction, “This is Storm Davis, he’s a real cool guy. He’ll be an asset to our town.” The council welcomed Davis.
Elton updated the council about Trollskogen Log Cabin. She shared that she spoke with the family and is waiting to hear back. Councilor Edgington added that her cousin plans to reach out to Vesterheim to see if they are interested interested in the cabin.
The council discussed whether or not to remove the exterior windows and doors to the Trollskogen cabins that had been installed during COVID. Unfortunately, vandalism has become an issue here. Council members visited the cabins and found much of the plexiglass gone. Councilor Rohland wondered about future vandalism even with the windows and doors removed. Edgington asked, “How much work is it to take the remaining windows off?” Elton chimed in stating there is a lack of storage space available to store the windows if removed. Rohland recommended leaving the exterior windows and doors be until springtime unless such becomes a safety hazard. The council unanimously agreed.
Fiesta Rosita is coming to Spring Grove. Turner moved, second by Edgington, to approve a license for Fiesta Rosita in turn motion carried. Mayor Solum commented, “I’m so excited we’re having a new Mexican restaurant in town!”
Quite a few Spring Grove residents expressed interest in taking over Councilor Rohland’s position on the city council. Mayor Solum recommended, “I’m suggesting we have a closed session so we could go through each one.” (One being each applicant interested.) “I’m so excited we have people interested.” The council decided to schedule a closed session for Tuesday, October 24 to speak with each applicant with a time frame of 15-20 minutes per person. Solum thanked those that applied.
The city of Spring Grove received a $1,500 MiEnergy Cooperative Grant to purchase AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator). Councilor Turner commented, “Some are getting out of date.” The grant is expected to cover the cost of one, maybe two new defibrillators.
The council approved the Fest Building being open to walkers starting November 1, 2023, until March 28, 2024. Walkers will have the opportunity to utilize the building Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. In addition, the council approved to allow residents to play pickleball as long as people put down/pull up the tape used for the game.
Mayor Solum shared she would like an item for November’s meeting to include making Spring Grove’s parks smoke free.
Council member Edgington provided a brief EDA (Economic Development Authority) report. EDA discussed options in ways to support the Northern Engraving employees with local opportunities as Northern Engraving will be laying off roughly 80 of their workers. Mayor Solum said Northern Engraving is laying off their workers to turn the establishment into a warehouse. One Northern Engraving employee commented that the closure is due to lack of work coming in with the reason for such not being stated.
Folstad shared what Spring Grove Public library is up to. The library held a successful fall book sale. Local author Joanne Griffin was scheduled for a book reading and signing at the library Monday, October 2 but the event ended up rescheduled for Monday, November 6. A number of people have expressed interest in volunteering with the library. Discussion took place on implementing background checks as these volunteers would be working with children.
The meeting adjourned at 6:48 p.m. The next Spring Grove regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 21. The meeting will be held at 168 West Main Street in Room 100. The public is invited to attend.