Mayor Scott Solberg called the Spring Grove City Council’s regular meeting to order at 6:04 p.m. Tuesday, April 20 at the Fest Building. Council Members in attendance were Travis Torgerson, Trent Turner, Karen Folstad, and Chad Rohland. Also, present Julie Amundson, city clerk/administrator; Spring Grove City Attorney Greg Schieber, Jacqueline Wennes, Michael Solum, Deanna Solum, and Karen Solum. Scott Huneke, WHKS, and Jean Volkenant attended the meeting via Zoom.
The city received four bids, with one arriving after the advertised deadline for parcels 15.0075.003 and 15.0075.004. The public was reminded that the 2.73 acres of land does not have legal access to a public roadway. A motion was made and approved not to accept the late bid. The three bids received and recorded were from: Paul Morken $2,394.87; Michael Solum $8,107; and Chris Peterson $10,000. The council approved having a bid off between the top two bids at a date to be determined by Amundson and Schieber.
The council approved tabling the 5th Avenue project until next year when it was learned that the project’s partners did not include it in their budget. Next March or April, the bids will be released.
The council already approved painting the Main Street cross walks and curbs. Four Season Asphalt Maintenance was awarded the contract for a cost of $5,040. Mayor Solberg explained, “All necessary crosswalks will be painted.”
Agua Logic was awarded the pool filter contract at the cost of $58,200, which includes demolition of existing filters, installation of new filters, plumb filters/face piping to existing plumbing, and filter media. Amundson informed the council, “Everything is ordered, and we hope it is here in time.” If the updates are not completed before the pool opens, they can get the old pump up and running. The pool opens June 7, and lessons start on June 14, including water aerobics. If the filters are not installed before the pool opens, the facility will need to be closed for three days to install the filters. They will not have to drain the pool.
Due to COVID-19, Syttende Mai requests $2,500 from the 2020 budget and $2,500 from the 2021 budget. The council approved allocating $2,500 budgeted for this year’s event and will see if the committee needs additional funds after the event is over.
Animal Regulations Chapter 520 was revised and updated for 2021.
Councilmember Rohland was authorized to sign the Cooperative Landscaping Agreement between the city and Minnesota Department of Transportation. The city will receive $8,000.00 for landscaping along Highway 44 within the city limits on the west side of town.
Syttende Mai organizers applied for a temporary liquor license for Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16. Organizers want to sell leftover beer on Sunday during the alumni baseball game. The council approved.
The council accepted the recommendation to hire Chris Strinmoen for the summer sports recreation director and hired Kaitlyn Gross for WSI/lifeguard, Olivia Wennes, concessions, and Kohl Betcher, concessions. The city will advertise for a non-sports summer rec director in the Caledonia Argus and on Facebook.
The city received a letter from a former Spring Grove resident asking the city to paint the flower boxes on Main Street before Syttende Mai. Council members all agreed that it was not a council issue as the flower boxes are on private buildings.
The city mower is worn out! The council approved the purchase of a zero turn mower for a total of $9,381.68. The city will keep the old mower as the tractor still runs.
The council approved staff’s request to install three solar lights and poles on Enterprise Dr. in Industrial Park. Total cost with lights is $400.
The council tabled installing electric vehicle charging stations until they have more information. All members agreed that it is essential and necessary.
Council members actively discussed the city’s non-existent solar policy, including the lack of a buy-back plan. All members agreed that the city needs to implement a solar policy and want to write the policy.
City hall has new office hours; it will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. Staff will take a 30-minute lunch break instead of one hour.
The contract with Plunket for insect and rodent control at the Fest building, city hall, and swimming pool was approved. The city has not had a contract with Plunket in the past; having an agreement saves the city 6%.
The council all agreed to table hiring Nick Bruns as a standby officer until next month. Tabling it will give Amundson time gather answers to members questions. The chief did a background check, and everything came back okay. The city administrator mentioned that she had interviewed him as well.
Council members confirmed that they have already approved adding a siren to the water tower for $1,000. The siren needs to be hooked up.
The council approved Wednesday, April 28 at 6 p.m. for the city clerk/administrator’s annual review and review of the utility director’s applications. The closed meeting will be held at city hall.
The Spring Grove City Council’s next regular meeting is May 25 at 6 p.m. at the Fest building. The public is invited to call in, Zoom, or attend the face-to-face meeting. Contact city hall at (507) 498-5221 for log-in information.