Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The Oct. 6, 2008, Kimball city council meeting began with a presentation of a plaque to former city clerk/treasurer Dianne Robinson. Robinson had served two years on the council followed by 27 1/2 years as clerk/treasurer for a total of 29 1/2 years of service to the city of Kimball. The council later announced that they found a new city clerk who will begin the job around Oct. 21: Tammy Weege from South Haven. (Meanwhile, Chris Jeppesen and Eileen Thomes have been filling in temporarily, part-time.) Election judges for the city of Kimball on Nov. 4 will be Eileen Thomes, Chris Jeppesen, Joan Nystrom, Karl Swaisgood, DuWayne Orbeck, and Audrey White. Canvassing of the election will be Thursday, Nov. 6. (NOTE that the council meeting scheduled for Monday, Nov. 3, has been rescheduled for Thursday, Nov. 6, and the canvassing will be part of that meeting.)
Delinquent city utility bills for vacant properties will be turned over to Stearns County to be recorded as tax liens on the properties. Renewal of the Xcel Energy franchise agreement for the city was approved with changes specified by the city's attorney. Mary Johnson of the Kimball Area Historical Society thanked the council for their support in renovations being made to City Hall. Phases 1-3, on the exterior of the building, have been completed. This work included replacement of historically authentic windows, and restoration or repair of brick on the north side of City Hall (Phase 1); similar work on the south side (Phase 2); similar work on the east and west (front and back) sides of City Hall, plus first-time installation of a rain gutter, replacement of front signage, and restoration of cornices on the front (Phase 3). The paperwork for Phase 4 has been submitted and approval, if granted, could come in early January with the work being done in February-March. Phase 4 work includes replacing the heating and cooling systems with a hot-water boiler system and radiators. The dropped ceilings will be removed, and the wood paneling currently on the walls will be extended upwards. There will be a reconfiguration of the police offices and the council room, and lighting will be greatly improved. Jim Frilstad, chief of police, introduced his newly hired part-time policeman, Andrew Toenjes. He will begin work toward the end of October. Frilstad also announced the renewal of the policing contract with Fair Haven whereby his department spends 60 hours per month on average in the Fair Haven area. After several months of researching, Frilstad presented a revised ordinance for use of snowmobiles and four-wheelers within city limits. (He is still working on one for use of golf carts.) The speed limit for such vehicles is 15 m.p.h.; they must travel single-file on a roadway; are forbidden on sidewalks and in parks and on public property; cannot be operated by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and the driver must be appropriately licensed or certified. Watch for specific details to be published here soon.
Konz, Loewen and Krippner approved the revised ordinance; Jansky was absent, and Orbeck voted against, stating that Kimball already has too many ordinances. Mayor Tammy Konz reported that an error had been made in the TIF (Tax Increment Financing) processing for Schmidty's. Twenty-five percent of TIF money was to be retained by the city for administrative expenses, but instead 100 percent was refunded to Schmidty's C Stores. This error had evaded everyone up to now, including the city's auditor and the state of Minnesota, and no one can explain how or why it happened. As a remedy, all TIF money will be retained by the city until that 25 percent per year is made up. No other TIFs were affected. The city will begin random drug testing on employees, who have been informed of this. Testing has been a city policy, but it had not been done previously. One homeowner requested that his city utility (garbage and water/sewer) bills be refunded by the city. The owner had paid the bills, but requested a refund because of missing garbage cans and, in another instance, a garden hose was left on during their absence. The council declined his request.
In other matters, the council will begin enforcing the leash law in city limits, and the city has signed a petition to remove the city clerk position from the supervisors' union rolls. Dec. 1 is the city's Truth in Taxation council meeting. Nov. 24 at 6:30 there will be a special meeting. The first November meeting will take place on Thursday the 6th rather than Monday the 3rd. The next Kimball city council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 20. As always, council meetings are open to the public, and anyone may attend. An open forum period follows the regular meeting. If you wish to be added to the agenda, please call the city office at 398-2725 at least one week in advance of the meeting.