The work is done, and the barricades are finally down.
Only a month late, largely because they had to deal with a lot of ground water at levels higher than expected.
The entire project has experienced delays and setbacks, starting with the very long time it took for MnDOT to approve the project in the first place. Following the prescribed process, construction bids were opened July 16, fairly late in the construction season.
The Kimball city council held its second meeting in November on the 19th. It was a relatively short meeting, much of it spent waiting for the city’s engineer.
State Rep. Jeff Howe attended the meeting, as an observer. The council and Howe were able to share ideas about transportation, the driver diversion program taught by Kimball Police, and other items of interest to our area.
In official business, the city ordered delinquent utilities to be shut off Thursday, Nov. 21. The city will do a rate study before increasing utility rates. And the city needs to re-do its wage scale for pay equity.
The Watkins council is preparing for the annual Truth In Taxation meeting (6:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12). This year’s residential property taxes overall are lower, and most commercial taxes are higher. The council has been working hard to keep property taxes stable.
A number of issues were dealt with at their Nov. 14 regular meeting. The Watkins Ambulance was approved to commit up to $1,000 each month for needed equipment and medications without seeking council approval prior to any purchase. Public works is “ready for anything that can come” when it comes to snow removal. A formal performance review process will be implemented, tried on the newest employee (Virl Liebrenz) to start. A gravel lease payment was received. The Economic Development Authority is collecting survey data for a visioning session to come. Duane Peterson resigned from the Planning Commission. Street lights will be replaced as needed. Properties with delinquent water bills will be shut off.
Winter parking restrictions went into effect in local towns effective Nov. 1.
Eden Valley: No parking on city streets between 2-6 a.m. until April 1. Vehicles will be towed, and owners must pay towing fee plus storage to get it back.
Kimball: No parking on any city street between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. until April 30. Vehicles may be towed to an impound lot, with the cost of towing and impound to be paid by the owner before the vehicle is released.
South Haven: No parking on city streets from 2-7 a.m. until April 30. Violators will be towed at the owner’s expense if it’s necessary to move the vehicle for snow removal.
Watkins: No parking on Central Avenue (main street) in the downtown business district between 2:30-6 a.m. until April 1. No parking on any city street after a snowfall of 1 inch or more, until streets have been plowed to their full width. $25 fine for first offense, $50 for second, and $100 for each offense thereafter.
Sidewalks generally must be cleared within 24 hours after snowfall stops.
No snow may be pushed, plowed, or otherwise deposited onto any street or alley; snow may not be pushed across any public street or road. This is a state law.
The South Haven city council met Wednesday, Nov. 6, because Nov. 5 was election day.
The council renewed the two-year seasonal contract for snow removal and salt/sanding for 2013-14 and 2014-15.
Wage claims for council members, the mayor, city clerk, and firefighters were approved for pay this month.
Municipal Liquor Store report indicated some repairs are needed and the council approved the manager to have these repairs made.
Fire Chief Laney reported that there was one rescue and two fire calls in October. The department has the funds to purchase a new pumper truck, he says, and the next step toward purchasing it is to place an ad for bids. The department will put up the Christmas lights around Thanksgiving weekend; Fairhaven Electric will be asked to address any electrical concerns with the lights. The chief requested that snow being plowed be pushed onto the north side of Church Street and not onto the parking lot area near the fire hall.