With one police chief candidate having issues arise on background check, and the other candidate wanting too high a salary, it looks like the City of Kimball will begin its search again for a new police chief to replace the one who left in November. There is a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16, to discuss this.
At its May 7 meeting, the council heard from a frustrated rental property owner. She’s been waiting for the water to be shut off in the rental (in accordance with the city’s ordinance), because the renter hasn’t paid the bills, as this is the only way that she can evict him. She only recently learned that the curb-stop valve has been broken for years, and the water can’t be shut off; the city won’t fix it until 2021 with the MnDOT project on Main Street. Nearly 30 minutes of discussion resulted in the council telling her she has to pay it, that the city will not take responsibility for any part of it.
Both the Kimball Christian Church and Lonnie Hendricks want to extend city water and sewer to their properties. The city’s engineer will look into grants or other means to help pay for it.
Keith Markwardt of Harvest Bank got approval to move the property line between the parking lot and the fence so that they can sell the house adjacent to the lot.
Public works is considering getting AutoCAD, interactive maps of the city’s streets and utilities. The city’s engineer can help in this process. It could cost about $5,500 the first year, about $3,500 to attach record drawings, and $1,000 a year for the license to use it. (The city’s current paper maps are outdated, cumbersome, and inaccurate.) The new system would be digital, and portable (on phones, iPads, etc.)
The city will put the garbage contract up for bid this year. The current provider is Waste Management, and the contract is up at the end of this year.
Kimball codes are insufficient to prevent “shouses” (pole shed-houses) from being built in the city. The council wants to change this.
The city is short of funds to pay for paving 83rd Avenue and 135th Street, sharing half the costs with Maine Prairie Township. They will see what kind of arrangements can be made with the township.
There has been a complaint about dog poo on the sidewalk, especially around KimHaven Apartments. Dog owners need to clean up after their pets.
South Haven selects new garbage contractor; seeks new water well
There were two fire calls and eight rescue calls in South Haven during April. Four new firefighters are completing their training, and the department will purchase gear for them.
The City of South Haven has applied to be put on the 2020 Water Revolving Fund Project Priority List to try to obtain funding for a new water well.
The City of South Haven is seeking an engineering firm to help them with city water well and storm drainage issues now, and possibly others that may arise. Three firms expressed interest. The council will meet for individual presentations to the council by all three firms at a future meeting.
The city is looking to renew its sanitation contract that is up the end of June. Three companies submitted proposals (Advanced Disposal, West Central Sanitation, and Mumford Sanitation). All three proposals were similar. The council considered three-year vs. five-year contracts. The council accepted the lowest-bid proposal from Mumford Sanitation for a five-year contract to begin July 1. Pick-up services will change to Tuesdays. The city also requested a dumpster for clean-up day, with the city only paying for disposal costs (no charge for the dumpster). Mumford also offers larger recycling carts upon request by customers.
Watkins looks to start Community Foundation
The City of Watkins is looking to form a community foundation for charitable giving and projects. As Citizens for Progress in Eden Valley is also doing so, the plan is to get several together from Eden Valley and Watkins to meet and discuss the possibilities. From such a meeting, a joint board could emerge. Central MN Community Foundation has offered their assistance in the process. There is an existing account through them (for EV-W scholarships), and a new fund for other projects easily could be added to it.
The council approved purchase of a new ambulance for $132,000. They also approved the Ambulance Service setting aside $30,000 a year (instead of $20,000) for future purchases. Their calls continue to increase in frequency, currently averaging 40-45, and they need to replace the ambulance regularly; the price of ambulances also is rising.
The city will again do National Night Out in August, similar to last year.
The city is interested in joining a public alert system for $275/year. This would allow voice/text/email alerts for things like waterline freezes, water shutoffs in part of town, post-tornado alerts, and more. This was tabled until they get more information on the number of alerts included in the yearly fee. (The city currently pays nearly that much just in postage to mail out alerts to residents.)
The city will inquire about the possibility of purchasing land from CP Rail along the tracks in town, used for McCarthy Park and the city parking lot.
The Watkins Pool will open June 1, but they’re short-staffed so far this year. (See help-wanted ad on page 23!) Lifeguard training will be available in Watkins June 1-2. Repairs need to be done before June 1, and the council needs to consider replacing either the south wall or the whole pool next year.