Two Lanesboro Public School students were recognized in the “Mayor for the Day” essay contest sponsored by the League of Minnesota Cities. Fourth grader Isaac Snyder was selected as one of the three winners in the contest and sixth grader Peyton Olson received an honorable mention. Isaac was unable to attend the Lanesboro City Council meeting on the evening of March 6, but Peyton was present. Mayor Autumn Johnson read a proclamation declaring the two students mayor for the day and congratulated both on their essays.
Council member Marge Drake gave the park board report. The board is applying for a grant to work on some projects they would like to complete. To move forward with the grant process, they requested that the council to pass a resolution of support. The council approved the resolution.
“In a town our size, volunteers are so important and their number seems to be getting fewer and fewer,” Drake reminded the council. She pointed out that just some of the responsibilities the park board covers are the Bass Pond, two campgrounds, the community center, the visitor center and more. “We have a really good park board, and people are really dedicated,” she concluded.
City Administrator Michele Peterson concurred, adding, “In addition to a great park board, we also have a really good park staff.”
The fire department received an offer of $2,500 for the old fire truck. The department already voted to approve the sale and just needed the council’s approval to move forward, which was granted. Council Member Tom Smith asked whether the truck was advertised adequately as he felt it was worth more than $2,500.
“Between myself and the chief, we felt that we marketed it sufficiently,” Peterson replied, adding that several attempts had been made to sell the truck with no bids.
The Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce’s new website for the City of Lanesboro went live on February 7. The website design allows for the posting of
job openings and deals which should prove to be useful.
City Engineer Brian Malm updated the council on the Auburn/Zenith street project. An alleyway in the project area was originally thought to just have a drainage problem, but when the sewer system under the alley was examined, it was found to be in bad shape.
“It’s not in imminent failure condition,” Malm said. However, since the city plans to repave the alley, the sewer system should also be repaired. “Otherwise, you may need to dig up the new pavement before its life expectancy of 30-40 years has been met.” A motion was made to table the matter until it could be discussed further.
Last year, the Buffalo Bill Days fireworks were shot off from the football field for the first time. The city received complaints because they couldn’t be seen from the downtown area. However, unlike the previous location, there were no complaints issued by property owners near the area. It was pointed out that, as it was the first year for using the football field, people were not used to it and were not aware of a good spot to watch the fireworks. Councilman Jason Resseman made a motion that the fireworks continue to be shot off from the football field for the next few years to give people a chance to acclimate to the new location before making the decision to change it again.
“I’ve never lived in a place with so many educated, successful people. If we all work together, we can accomplish a lot,” Resseman noted. “There seems to be some division within a commission and between commissions.”
In 2015, the Lanesboro City Council adopted a resolution for a Code of Conduct specific to the council members. Later, a second Code of Conduct was created to include all city employees. Requests have been made for all members of the different commissions within Lanesboro to abide by the Code of Conduct as well.
“We are a team,” Council Member Jason Resseman pointed out. He went on to explain that even if a commission member doesn’t agree with a decision that is made, they need to remember that they are working together as a team and portray that mindset to the community.
“There are some commission members who have refused to sign the Code of Conduct,” he continued. “This division needs to stop. I don’t know what caused it or how we can move forward with it, but it needs to stop. The commissions are put forth to work together for the better of the community. We need to provide a unified front as a council, as a commission, and as a community.”
Council member Tom Smith asked if the Code of Conduct could be revised to be appropriate for all of the city commissions. Peterson will continue to
work on the Code of Conduct with the city attorney, Thomas Manion.
The Public Utilities Commission recommended that the council approve a 7% increase to the sewer utility charges, which would come out to approximately a $2.22 increase for an average residential bill. Resseman asked what the impact of the increase would be for commercial properties. Peterson did not have the numbers available at the meeting but agreed to prepare a document for the April city council meeting for the council to review before making a decision on the sewer utility rates.
A community volunteer meet and greet will be held at the community center on March 31 at 6:30 p.m. for anyone interested in volunteering for projects around community.
The EDA requested a work session with the city council. “We want to be sure that we’re heading in the direction that the council wants,” EDA member Michael Brown noted. They agreed to meet at 5 p.m. on April 3 before the regular city council meeting that evening.
Council Member Bridget Harvey resigned from the EDA board. Resseman offered to take her spot as long as someone else covered his position as liaison on the Public Utilities Commission, which Smith agreed to do.
The next Lanesboro City Council meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on April 3.