7/23/2013 1:13:00 PM West Concord City Council
National Night Out to include movie by Ginny's Drive-In
By Nan Babcock
At their July 18 meeting, the West Concord City Council voted to accept "with regrets" the resignation of Police Chief Ken Frank.
Ken has accepted a similar position in St. Charles, and his last day in West Concord will be July 26. The council appointed Officer Shannon Boerner to serve as interim police chief, and City Administrator Kay Hanson will set up a time-line for interviewing candidates to fill the position. Kenyon Police Chief Lee Sjolander and Dodge County Deputy Lauring Guenther have agreed to serve on the interview committee.
Maintenance supervisor Keith Clammer received quotes for paving the parking lot by Centennial Park at Main Street and Hwy. 56 when the blacktopping company is in town this summer to work on County 24. The fence separating the gravel parking lot from the park is in poor condition, and a suggestion was made to remove it and put in curb stops instead. The blacktopping bid was $7,381, which is not in the budget for this year. The council decided to go ahead with the fence removal and curb stops and plan to pave the parking lot next year.
Keith also told council members the city lawn mower is worn out. "It will have 2000 hours on it by the end of the summer, and it's 13 or 14 years old," he said. A replacement will cost around $9000. Kay said it's not on the schedule for replacement until 2015. Council member Ryan Faye agreed with Keith that the old mower won't last that long.
Keith recently managed to repair the swimming pool heaters, but they are in poor condition due to their age, and he's in the process of getting prices for used ones to use as replacements.
Pool manager Glenda Andrews said the pool has been busy this summer. Last Tuesday was a county-wide free swim day and attendance was 166. Second session swimming lessons are filling up fast, and participation levels are good at water aerobics classes and lap swimming.
The pool staff is having a maintenance issue with plaster and paint peeling from the bottom of the pool, Glenda said. Because it was such a late spring and the weather was so wet, they weren't able to drain the pool for maintenance before they opened it, so she hopes to be able to drain, repair, and paint it this fall.
City Engineer Joe Palen said the County 24 reconstruction project is more or less on schedule.
For next summer's West Main Street reconstruction, Joe said county officials are assisting with updating legal descriptions of right of way to clarify property ownership. He has looked at the televised inspection of the sanitary sewers and said most sections seem to be in decent condition. The council awarded a bid to American Engineering Testing in Rochester to do soil borings and geotechnical review of the East Main area for $2,700.
Mary Burt asked the council to pick up part of the expenses for the two-day pancake breakfast fundraiser that will be held for injured fireman Chad Finne during Survival Days. "Our local firemen put their lives on the line for us," she said, "and I hope the city can show support in a situation like this." Kay said cities are prohibited by law from making charitable contributions, but she will check with the League of Minnesota Cities to see if anything can be done in this type of situation.
Council members voted to accept an agreement with the News Enterprise for publication of their City Pages. The cost will remain at $150 through 2014. The newspaper will provide saturation to all West Concord residents just twice a year, in July and November.
Council member Karen Peterson said West Concord will be observing the National Night Out again this year, the first Tuesday in August, with plans for a digital treasure hunt and bingo on Main Street, and walking tacos for sale. At dusk there will be a movie on the wall by Ginny's Drive-In.
The council granted two resident requests, the first allowing Patrick Bartel to widen his driveway, and the second allowing Ron Flicek to put in a holding tank on his commercial property on the north edge of town.
The 2014 city budget has to be approved and submitted by Sept. 16, so council members will be meeting with each department head to get input for their financial planning. Meetings will be August 13, 14 and 19.
The next regular city council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 15.