The Whalan City Council spent a portion of the October 11 council meeting discussing maintenance at the city hall. As the long months of winter approach, the mayor advised creating a maintenance schedule to ensure that checklist items are taken care of. Present at the regularly scheduled meeting were Mayor Marlys Tuftin, along with council members Thore E. Johnson, Kim Berekvam, Owen Lewis and City Clerk/Treasurer Michele Peterson. Council member Sheila Higbe was absent.
Several items were added to the agenda under Miscellaneous, including 1) Light Pole, 2) Fire Hydrant, 3) Street Sign and 4) Porta potties.
The agenda was approved, after adding Time Sheet to it. Minutes and Treasurer’s Report of the September 12 meeting were also approved.
A Whalan resident questioned whether replacing the siding on the town hall was necessary, and if so, if it is a good idea to use cedar. A discussion on the subject was held. As the city is looking for grant monies for the project and no concrete decisions have been made, the discussion was tabled until a later date.
A discussion was held as to whether to sell the old mower that belongs to the city. The council discussed whether the mower should be advertised for bids. Discussion was tabled until the November council meeting.
Peterson inquired whether the council wanted the tax levy amount lowered or leave it as is. The council will review the budget and the discussion was tabled until the November 2022 council meeting.
A lengthy discussion was held on town hall maintenance, including what needs to be done on a regular basis and who will be responsible for each maintenance issue.
It was decided to have Septic-Pro maintain the porta potties. A plumber will be contacted, to look at the urinal in the city hall bathroom if the council is not able to fix it. The council will work on getting a maintenance schedule created.
The council approved placing an ad in Visit Bluff Country Magazine in the amount of $184.45.
Peterson informed the council that the deadline to apply for the SHIP Grant has passed but added that they can work together to be prepared for the next grant round.
A discussion was held on the status of the Electric Utility Agreement with MiEnergy. Further discussions can be held as it would need to go on the ballot in 2024.
Peterson reported that she has submitted an application for a grant for the town hall siding project.
The Zoning Board continues to look for an additional member. Contact any council member or call the City of Whalan at (507) 467-2212 if you are interested in serving on the Zoning Board.
A possible Public Right of Way and Maintenance agreement between the City of Whalan and the annexed area was discussed. The city attorney will create a short-term contract between the two parties, good for one year, with the cost of attorney fees to be split.
Peterson reported that she has been in contact with a Fillmore County representative about the light pole. The light pole will be moved and it will have a shade on it.
There was a fire hydrant moved by Aroma Pie Shoppe during the road construction. The council would like the fire hydrant back to possibly use for decorative piece as it is part of Whalan’s history. The council will look into getting the fire hydrant returned.
The council would like the pole on a street sign replaced post-construction. The pole was damaged from a car accident a couple years ago. There may be a pole in the city shed that can be used. City maintenance worker Randy Berekvam will look into it.
The council discussed the fact that the DNR removed the porta potty on the trail in the beginning of October. October has been a very busy month with tourists riding the trail and no porta-potty available. The porta-potty that was there was in poor condition and the council heard complaints. The council will look at other options for the city to have porta-potties available for visitors.
The council will pay Terry Mickelson $200 for painting done at the ballpark.
The next Whalan City Council meeting will be held on November 14. The public is encouraged to attend. For further information phone the City of Whalan at (507) 467-2212 or visit www.cityofwhalan.weebly.com.