11/21/2012 3:44:00 PM West Concord City Council
72 new voters registered on election day
By Nan Babcock
At their Oct. 15 meeting the West Concord City Council appointed Greg Klevos to fill the council position vacated by Burt Boe.
Burt resigned from the seat last month with two years remaining in the term, and Greg, a realtor with Cardinal Realty, agreed to serve. "I think Greg has worked with the city enough that he recognizes the time commitment and the work that is involved," council member Karen Peterson noted. He was sworn in and took his seat with the other council members.
The council canvassed the local election results, with incumbent mayor Jeff McCool and council members Al Gilbert and Ryan Fay all retaining their positions. City Administrator Kay Hanson served as head election judge. "We had a very busy day and everything went well," she reported. West Concord's voter turnout was 87 percent and 72 new voters registered on election day.
Ann Anderson, general manager of the News Enterprise, West Concord's local paper which was recently purchased by Rick Bussler of Blooming Prairie, intro- duced herself and told council members about the goals and plans for the newspaper. The news that is printed will be 100 percent local and "we cover the good and the bad," she said. In the next few weeks they will be developing a website featuring news articles and advertising.
Ann presented a proposal for the City Pages, paid for by the city, which appear monthly and contain news and information from various city departments. The changes at the newspaper include a cost increase from $100 to $150 per month, and since the budget has been set for
2013, the city will have to come up with the extra money. "I think the City Pages are a good thing," Al said. "A lot of people read them."
The West Concord Charter School Board is interested in purchasing lots from the city on South Street on the west edge of town. They had previously con- sidered property for the school by the swimming pool and the park, but that location proved to be unsuitable. The lots on South Street have adequate sewer and water available. The council voted to pursue the process and may call a special meeting to finalize the sale.
Karen updated council members on plans for the Christmas in West Concord celebration, which will be Saturday, Dec. 1. Along with many traditional events, such as the craft sale at the Historical Society, the kickball tournament, home- made donuts at the Methodist Church, Santa at the bank and horse-drawn wagon rides on Main Street, the sled decorating contest is back for the second year, and a new contest this year involves participants creating festive displays in the open trunks of their cars or the backs of their SUVs.
A representative from Greenway Co-op asked for an adjustment to a water bill. During the summer a toilet flap leaked, causing a jump in water usage at the elevator. The PeopleService representative noticed the increase and informed an employee, but the leak continued, and in August, the water bill had increased from the normal $60 or $70 per month to $1400. At that point, city officials turned the water off.
"The city notified the company of the leak," Karen said. "They fulfilled their
responsibility. That is the amount of the water that went through your system. The city did its job, the company ignored the situation they should pay in full."
"The city staff went above and beyond," Jeff said.
However, council member Ryan and Greg made and seconded a motion to split the difference for the amount that exceeded the regular monthly bill, $1280, so Greenway would pay $640. The motion passed.
Fire Chief Bob Klapperich told the council the 1977 pumper truck is due to be replaced next year. They need to stay on schedule with the replacement because they have two other trucks that will also need to be replaced in the next four to five years.
Bob asked about some city property that is stored in the fire station and hasn't been used for many years. Jeff suggested that the council needs to take a tour of various storage locations to decide what needs to be gotten rid of.
The city's contract with Cardinal Realty listing the developed lots on the west side of town was up for renewal, and the council voted to renew it, with Greg abstaining.
Joe Wheeler, executive director of SEMMCHRA, a southeast Minnesota housing and redevelopment authority, addressed the council to let them know what services his organization can per- form for the city. He also explained the tax levy necessary to fund the services. No action was taken.