7/23/2013 1:11:00 PM Dodge Center City Council
New council member needed to fill opening
By Larry Dobson
Dodge Center Councilman Matt Dickie recently purchased a house outside city limits and has moved there with his family, making him ineligible to continue as a council member. After discussion at the council's regular meeting Monday evening, the council decided to advertise for volunteer candidates and to approach local residents who might be potential candidates in an effort to find someone council members can appoint to the position until the next general election and hold a special election at that time. The council could call a special election sooner but that would cost significantly more, an expense the council plans to avoid. Anyone interested in filling the vacant council position is encouraged to contact the city and submit their name and make application.
Dickie was also on the Dodge Center Park Board and Planning and Zoning Commission. Until his seat on the council is filled, Gary Trelstad will fill in on the park board and Paul Blaisdell on planning and zoning.
After learning that the city attorney recommended against the city entering into a contract with the HRA to provide research on a variety of housing issues, the council approved the recommendation that the city instead make a cash contribution to the HRA to be used for the same purpose. The funds will be used to pay for an additional eight hours per week of such services by HRA Director Amy Van Raam until the end of the year. Among the issues she will look into are grants, housing development and landlord education programs.
Earlier plans called for closing the Aquatic Center for the season on Sunday, August 18 but other area pools are staying open longer. After learning Pool Manager Rachel Tate had canvassed pool staff to make sure enough would be around to keep the pool open another week, the council voted to extend the season until the following Sunday, August 25. The council also voted to allow city staff to work out a formula to pro-rate passes to the Aquatic Center for the balance of the season.
The council approved a request from Living Water Assembly Church to be allowed to hold a community event in the parking lot on the west of the Midtown Center on Sunday, August 18 from 1-5 p.m. This will be the second such event the church has held there. The first was in August last year and attracted something in excess of 150 people with no problems associated with the event.
Council member Cathy Skogen reported that Advance Disposal, the waste hauler that acquired Veolia, has been collecting waste on Mondays, in violation of its city license. When she contacted them, she said the party she spoke with advised her they will be picking up her waste on Mondays. Mayor Ketchum said he had also seen them collecting household waste on Mondays. City staff was directed to inform Advance Disposal that its license to operate in Dodge Center will be cancelled if Monday collection continues. Waste haulers in Dodge Center agree to haul household waste only on Wednesdays as a condition of being licensed.
The council approved allowing the First Congregational Church to hold a pet blessing at Creek Park, provided its members clean up after the pets. There was brief discussion about the possibility of having camping sites at the park in the future.