Mayor Saundra Solum called the Spring Grove City Council meeting to order Tuesday, September 19 at 6 p.m. and led with the Pledge of Allegiance. Council members met at 168 West Main Street in Room 100. Council members present were Mayor Solum, Karen Folstad, Heather Edgington and Trent Turner. Also in attendance was City Clerk/Administrator Elton. Council member Chad Rohland was absent.
The council unanimously approved both to adopt the agenda and the consent agenda.
The Trollskogen Log Cabin in Spring Grove, Minn., currently is in need of repairs. The cabin’s roof and chimney leak badly; in addition, the cabin has become infested with squirrels. City Clerk/Administrator Jana Elton sought the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Program Grant for financial assistance in restoring the cabin. Unfortunately, the grant is not obtainable as the cabin is not registered with the historical society. Even if the cabin were registered, the grant may not cover the overall cost of the needed repairs, to which the city would need to pick up the tab on remaining costs. In addition to remaining repair costs, if registered, the cabin may need to meet certain guidelines to which adherence may cost money. The council discussed and questioned affordability in maintaining the cabin. One idea brought up was to consider seeing if someone else may be interested in restoring or buying the Trollskogen Log Cabin.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, exterior windows and doors had been installed on the Trollskogen cabins. It has come to attention that vandalism is taking place at these cabins with plexiglass being busted out and children sneaking/hiding in the walls. The item regarding consideration in removal of the exterior windows and doors ended up tabled. In the meantime, all exterior windows and doors will be opened up as such has been closed. In addition, the Trollskogen cabins will be visited with the vandalism issue being further looked into.
Open Forum consisted of no participants.
Turner moved, second by Folstad to open Public Hearing. The council approved both parcel 260008000 at 124 Division Avenue South and parcel 260009000 at 118 Division Avenue South to be rezoned from commercial to residential. Folstad moved, second by Turner to close Public Hearing. Motion carried.
A survey of Sylling alley will take place Thursday, September 21. A Spring Grove resident addressed the council about concerns over the alley. The resident shared that rocks currently roll where people drive through, in that, “This needs to be a wide alley.”
Elton shared that local business owner Robin Bartell will redesign the city of Spring Grove’s website.
The city received a $6,000 SHIP (Statewide Health Improvement Partnership) Grant where $1,000 of the grant funded signage for Spring Grove’s new pumptrack and $5,000 funded four new picnic tables. Mayor Solum commented to Elton, “Congratulations on that. Awesome!”
Shawn Buckland was hired as the city’s new Building and Grounds custodian/meter reader.
Council member Turner moved, second by Folstad to accept the resignation and declaring vacancy from city council for councilor Rohland. The November council meeting will be Rohland’s last council meeting. Councilors discussed advertising a letter of interest to the residents of Spring Grove in hopes to fill Rohland’s spot on the city council, a one-year commitment. The council thanked Rohland for all he has done while serving as a Spring Grove City Council member.
The Truth in Taxation meeting is set for Tuesday, December 19 at 6 p.m., held at 168 West Main Street in Room 100.
The city of Spring Grove currently has a whistle that goes off daily at both noon and 10 p.m. City Clerk/Administrator Elton received a few complaints about the whistle going off at both times. People who visit/go through Spring Grove are often confused by the whistle. The council discussed the possibility of implementing a survey on the whistle going off at either noon or 10 p.m.
Council member Edgington shared that EDA (Economic Development Authority) is currently working on the former Spring Grove Herald office, and in addition, applying for grants.
The Spring Grove City Council meeting adjourned at 7:54 p.m. The next council meeting will be held Tuesday, October 17 at 6 p.m. at 168 West Main Street in Room 100. The public is invited to attend.