The City of Whalan held a public hearing prior to the regularly scheduled city council meeting on November 9, 2020. The meeting was held in person and was also available via Zoom.
A petition was made by Ben Ruberg on behalf of the Murphy family, requesting the City of Whalan vacate a portion of 2nd Avenue, which is an unincorporated and unopened street.
Present at the public hearing and the regularly scheduled meeting that followed were Mayor Marlys Tuftin, City Clerk Michele Peterson and council members Kim Berekvam, Thore Johnson, Owen Lewis, and Tanya Cook as well as visitors.
Tuftin opened the hearing up to public discussion. After hearing comments from several residents which were taken into consideration, the public hearing was ended, with a decision to be made at the regular meeting.
The regular council meeting was then opened. Minutes from the October 13, 2020, regular council meeting were read aloud by Tuftin. With no additions or corrections, the minutes were approved as read.
The Treasurer’s Report was presented by Peterson as council members reviewed their personal copies. The Treasurer’s Report was approved.
Peterson reported she had received a quote from Norby Tree Service to remove the outfield poles and first base pole at the ballfield, as they are dry rotted. The two poles on the third base side would be topped at 12-feet from grade level and have bevel cut on top. If the third base poles are found to be bad, they would be removed also. The estimate is $2,567 and if the additional poles need to be removed that would be an added cost of $567. It was decided to table the work on the poles at the ballfield until spring 2021.
The council has been reviewing the Minnesota Basic Code Ordinances. There is quite a bit of information to get through. The ordinances will be discussed again at the December council meeting.
Peterson showed council members the mockups of the banners for the City of Whalan. The council approved for six banners total to be ordered along with the hardware necessary to hang them. Money for the banners will come from Chamber funds.
The city needs to find a new spot for a brush dump. Options will be discussed to try to find a new location.
The council continues to work on the 2021 budget. The final budget will be presented at the December meeting.
The council approved to move ahead with street improvements in the spring if quotes honored this year will be honored at that time.
The council denied the petition to vacate a portion of 2nd Avenue.
Peterson reported that three letters for ordinance violations had been sent out to residents. She will make sure the violations have been corrected. If they have not been corrected she will continue with further action on behalf of the city.
Peterson will reach out to local businesses for audit and attorney services for quotes. She will give the council an update at the December meeting.
Extending the moratorium on short-term B & Bs for an additional year was approved.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, the Whalan City Council meetings will be held via Zoom from December through March.
The Southeast Minnesota League of Municipalities will be hosting an online policy chat on Wednesday, November 11, from 9-10 a.m. Several council members plan to attend.
The next Whalan City Council meeting will be held on December 14, 2020, at 5 p.m. via Zoom. For more information call the Whalan city office at (507) 467-2212.