This is an extremely brief summary of last week’s Eden Valley city council meeting. Watch for a full report online, and in next week’s Tri-County News.
• Kris Latcham of EV-W Community Ed inquired about renting the old fire hall for a new daycare being planned as an extension of the Eagle Kids program.
• Progress on Highway 22 construction: sidewalks will be installed around paving schedule, and will be protected appropriately from cold weather. The city will look into what de-icing materials may be used safely on the new sidewalks.
• Partial payment on road construction was authorized.
• About $7,500 in delinquent water/sewer, refuse, and lawn care bills will be certified to the homeowners’ taxes.
• The city is looking into raising its utility rates (water and sewer).
• Winter parking restrictions went into effect Nov. 1 (see page 16 for details).
• Budget workshop will be at 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26.
• Next regular meeting is Wed., Dec. 4, along with a hearing on the 2014 budget and levy.
Because of a lack of space this week, the summary of last week’s Kimball city council meeting is necessarily brief.
• Arnold’s plans to install new water service under Hwy. 55, they will work with the city on this.
• The Kimball school board came to discuss parking lot construction on school property. The city’s engineer explained that a drainage and grading plan must be submitted.
• The city’s engineer sought and received approval to make final payments to contractors for work on the water tower and water treatment plant (last summer). The one-year warranty begins after everything is signed off on.
Stearns County is looking for citizens who want to get involved in County government and serve on any of its committees or boards. The boards and committees serve a variety of County departments.
Stearns County is in the process of recruiting for appointments to be filled in January of 2014. There are openings on the following committees:
• Board of Adjustment
• Community Corrections Advisory Board
• Dairy Advisory Committee
• Extension Committee
• Feedlot Review Committee
• Great River Regional Library
Stearns County is moving ahead on the remodeling of its Law Enforcement Center. Commissioners today approved awarding $2.7 million in bids to contractors to do the construction.
Thirty-one individual pieces of the remodeling project went out for bid, on everything from security systems to jail toilets, and
84 companies bid on those projects. It was an open competitive bid process, and overall the bids came in $123-thousand below original estimated cost.
Stearns County needs to remodel the Law Enforcement Center for safety and security reasons. Plans are to expand the booking area to make it safer, to accommodate the 8,000-9,000 bookings done by Stearns County every year. Plans also call for downsizing the work-release inmate area since it’s under-utilized. That area will go from 60 beds to 12. Remodeling will also add more male housing, nine more cells, and 11 more female cells. Stearns County transfers about 10 females a day to other counties for jail housing.
Total estimated construction cost of the remodeling is $5.1 million. Of that total cost, nearly $1.3 million is work that will be done in-house, such as the carpentry, electrical wiring and plumbing.
Construction on the Law Enforcement Center will start in January. It is a project that will take approximately 12-14 months to complete.
The remodeling project is a short-term, 10-year, fix for the County’s jail needs, but will give Stearns County time and an opportunity to focus on a long-term 30-year solution.
Deer donated to food shelves can be processed at no cost to hunters thanks to a program coordinated by the Minnesota Departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture. Prior to 2007, hunters could donate deer to food shelves but had to pay processing costs.
“The venison donation program has multiple benefits,” said Leslie McInenly, big game program leader for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “In portions of the state, hunters are encouraged to harvest multiple deer, the program provides hunters an avenue to donate the extra deer they harvest without having to pay processing costs. Demand for food assistance also has been increasing in recent years across Minnesota, and this is a great opportunity to provide locally-sourced meat to families in need.”
More details on the venison donation program, as well as a list of participating meat processors, are available online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer/donation. Processors who accept deer are paid $70 to process each animal for food shelf distribution.