The Whalan City Council had much to attend to at the regularly scheduled November 8 meeting held at the Whalan Town Hall. Present at the Monday meeting were Mayor Marlys Tuftin, councilmembers Thore E. Johnson, Kim Berekvam, Owen Lewis (via Zoom), and Sheila Higbe, as well as City Clerk/Treasurer Michele Peterson.
The agenda was accepted, with one addition of Fillmore County Engineer Ron Gregg.
Minutes and Treasurer’s Report from the October 12 city council meeting were approved.
Ron Gregg, Fillmore County Engineer, and Darrell Schmitt, Engineering Supervisor, presented on the upcoming street project.
Work will be done from the end of the bridge all the way down to the pie shoppe. There is also some storm sewer work planned for by the pie shoppe. The intersection by the pie shoppe will be reconstructed and paved.
The pavement will be removed, and curb and gutter will be removed. The road will not be wider and the city will not be putting in a sidewalk.
It was determined, due to the new curb and gutter work, that 13 trees need to be removed. The county will be responsible for removing the trees.
The project is expected to begin in the fall of 2022 and will take approximately 2-3 months to complete. Work will be staged to keep one lane open for local traffic only.
There will be a notification process for residents and a meeting will be set up for residents that will be affected by the project. Residents can also contact Ron Gregg at the Fillmore County Engineering Department at (507) 765-3854 with questions or concerns.
Cost to the City of Whalan will be approximately $25,000, an amount that was adjusted from a much larger amount ($41,000), due to the fact that there will be so little underground work necessary with this particular project, which in turn, requires less mobilization (equipment brought in) which would be quite costly.
Berekvam reported on the recent Lodging Tax Committee meeting. Committee members met and have made some recommendations of talking points with the Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce (LACC). It was brought up that the Lanesboro Visitor’s Guide used to say Lanesboro/Whalan Visitor’s Guide and the committee would like to suggest the possibility going back to that title. The committee would like to be sure that Whalan is included in advertising.
Another recommendation is to ask to have a set amount available to the City of Whalan each year as well as a possible 10% increase annually. The committee will begin working on a proposal to present to LACC. The Lodging Tax Committee discussion is tabled until the December council meeting.
The Brush Removal Quote is also tabled until the December council meeting.
The council discussed Ordinance 30.111 – City Fee Schedule. The proposed City Fee Schedule will be posted on the City of Whalan website for one month. The council will re-evaluate the fee schedule and will vote on it at the December council meeting.
The council will revisit the Public Utility Fee Schedule at the December council meeting.
Peterson noted to the city council for informational purposes that the U.S. Census Data has come back and the total population of the City of Whalan has been set at 67.
The council approved the placement of an ad in the Visit Bluff Country magazine at a cost of $225. Funds available through Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce will be used to pay for the advertising.
The city council discussed the 2022 budget. The city clerk/treasurer’s salary and the city maintenance pay rate for snowplowing will be reviewed as the council continues to look at the budget. This discussion is tabled until the December council meeting.
The next regularly scheduled Whalan City Council meeting will be held December 13 at the Whalan Town Hall. The meeting will also be available through Zoom. For further information contact the City of Whalan at (507) 467-2212 or visit the city website at www.cityofwhalan.weebly.com.