By Jean Doran Matua, Editor
At its May 5 regular meeting, the Kimball city council heard from Shannon Sweeney about Minnesota Rural Water loan to fund water improvements in town. The council approved a $416,000 note, payable over 15 years, with $13,190 in extra costs; the loan will close on June 1.
The Sheriff’s report included a burglary at Buck’s Storage across from the fire hall. Cpt. Jon Lentz reported that they have a suspect, someone involved in several other burglaries, from Anoka County.
The new library construction project broke ground, but hit a snag. It turns out the foundation was not entirely removed, and there was bad fill on the lot. The city was presented with two options: removing the concrete foundation only within the trench of the new footings, or dig out the whole thing and backfill it with good soil. The council agreed to do the latter, with a change order of time and material not to exceed $40,000 in additional costs to the existing project. Meanwhile, the city will consider sending letters to and to the sellers of the lot since the sellers had told the city’s engineers at SEH that it had been removed.
The council formally designated councilman Kyle Christensen and mayor Tammy Konz to have authority to approve change orders on the library project up to a maximum that cannot wait for the next regular or special council meeting.
The city’s attorney Tom Jovanovich also advised the council that following prevailing wage requirements will be critical for the library project grant, or the city risks losing the $439,511.90 state grant. The council has asked for a construction update at each council meeting going forward.
Firefighter Ed Graham was placed on medical leave, approved by the council.
The city’s emergency manager Brian Kiffmeyer reported that they received 145 homemade masks in the state-wide drive April 25. These were distributed to the nursing home and group home. They also discussed the need for PPE (personal protective equipment) for election judges.
The council discussed rental of the Willow Creek Park shelter. The council had earlier put a freeze on any rentals in May; they continued the freeze through the month of June with the option to revisit the issue in June for possible July rentals. (Liability was an issue, with disinfection required between every use.) Cancelation fees will be waived through July, although it usually requires a 30-day notice.
The council approved the request from Kristen Hommerding to install a Little Free Library in her yard at 120 Magnus Johnson Street. (Donations of books are invited; call Kristen at (612) 387-0413 or Brooklyn at (320) 293-9515.)
The council accepted bids for culvert repair and road work inside Willow Creek Park, and a bid for building a new road to the wastewater treatment at the compost site; both bids were from Hendricks Sand & Gravel.
Chad of public works discussed a new plow truck shed, about 40×60’, either where the hockey rink is or near the fire hall.
The council discussed holes left around town by Vibrant installing fiberoptic lines.
The city will advertise for a part-time seasonal person to mow lawns and do other summer work.
Several council members suggested sending letters about sprucing up properties around town.
The council discussed the possibility of payroll reimbursement by the state (which now will not happen), and the decline of water fee (and late fees) revenue to the city. Water treatment formulas may need to be adjusted because of reduced usage, although they haven’t yet in Kimball.
The council agreed to waive late fees for May utility bills as shutting off water would be “constructive eviction.”
The floors were being redone last week. $5,000 had been set aside for a new council table last year. The existing table is too large to be removed for the floor refinishing (and brought back); the council discussed the options of replacing the table, or having the floors done around the existing table. The council agreed to not spend the extra money at this time, and to have the refinishing somehow done around the existing table.
The council agreed to continue at half payroll for one month. They then discussed a new job description for the public works assistant (Travis), and changing the existing public works position to public works lead (Chad); both job descriptions were approved. After lengthy discussion about levels and what would be fair to both individuals, it was decided to table any level changes until the June meeting.
A tentative date of Sept. 26 was agreed on for the postponed Kimball Clean-up Day.
The next regular meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, by telephone call-in and/or Cisco Webex Meetings and/or in City Hall (yet to be determined).