At the October 4 meeting of the Preston City Council, City Administrator Joe Hoffman listed a variety of repairs and/or upgrades that are needed at city hall.
The building is 106 years old. A professional will need to look at the exterior of the building to give an estimate for tuckpointing the exterior brick. Some bricks are falling out. Door locks are 25 years old and don’t provide for access control to the various offices. A more secure system is needed.
Hoffman said it is even more urgent that they look at options to upgrade the phone system. The HVAC system needs to evaluated to get more information about upgrading it. There currently is no air exchange system in the building. A radon study should be done.
The northeast storage rooms are in need of repair, updating, and waterproofing. Lastly, carpet replacements and interior painting will become necessary from normal wear and tear. Mayor Kurt Reicks said we have to do maintenance as needed as replacement of the building will cost millions. There was no action this day. Staff will get more information and bring options to a future meeting.
Other business in brief
•Currently, chickens are not allowed in the Single Family Residential zone in Preston. The animal ordinance does not allow any farm animals within this zone. Hoffman noted he has been contacted by a number of residents that want to raise chickens in town. John Luze explained he would like to raise about 10 chickens for fresh eggs and meat. It would put a piece of his property to use and help teach his three young children some responsibility. Noise would be minimal as he would only have hens. He detailed his plan for waste management to alleviate any odor concerns. He intended to build a coop to protect the birds overnight.
Luze lives in the R-2 (Single Family Residential) zone where farm animals are prohibited, including chickens. Councilman Charles Sparks said he had some interest in amending the ordinance, but added it would have to be very specific. However, the majority of the council members didn’t want to change the current ordinance. There was some concern chickens could attract small animal predators. Luze was thanked for coming in with his request, but chickens will still not be allowed.
•Alcon Excavating, Inc. made its fifth pay request in the amount of $614,300.35 for the Street and Utility Project. The pay request was approved. The project has been ongoing for five months. Brett Grabau said by mid week most of the curb and gutter will be done. Rochester Sand and Gravel will be getting ready for paving. The assessment hearing should be held on November 15.
•The advertisement for request for proposals for 2022 official newspaper and attorney was approved.
•A $3,000 grant through Compeer Financial for the Preston EMS for the purchase of a stokes basket and a portable radio was accepted.
•A resolution was approved for the Toward Zero Deaths program. The federal funds for law enforcement are for enhanced traffic enforcement. The Preston Police Department participates through the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office. The program was adopted by the state of Minnesota in 2003.
•A resolution for a Joint Powers Agreement with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was adopted. This allows the department to access the Minnesota Criminal Justice Data and Communication Networks. The agreement is approved every five years.
•A 3.2 Off-Sale Liquor License was approved for Family Dollar pending completion of background checks.