Swimming lesson sign-ups were held May 4, and everything is being prepared to start lessons June 10. A crack in the south wall of the pool is being repaired now, with more permanent repairs being scheduled for the fall. A pork chop feed has been scheduled for June 8 to raise funds for the pool, which each year operates at a deficit of $30-35,000. The plan is to sell family discounted season passes that night only for $150 residents, $175 non-residents. (Regular price for season passes is $175 residents, $200 non-residents.)
There is a water problem on the south side of Village Hall where the city plans to install a new ramp. Water gets into the basement. Water also gets behind the bricks near the roofline, so tuckpointing and repairs will need to be done there as well. And the 50-year-old shingles are due for replacement. There may be grant money available for some of these projects, even if the building is not put on the historical register.
Two citizens presented water/sewer bills requesting forgiveness of the sewer portion. One had a running toilet, and the water did go down the sewer; that customer must pay the charges for additional use. The other was a broken waterline where water went into the yard, not down the sewer; that decision was tabled.
The council adopted a new policy regarding water/sewer bill appeals: if the water goes down the sewer, the customer still has to pay; the city will not adjust the bill, but may accept a payment schedule. (The water is still processed through the sewer, and the city still has to pay for that processing even if it is “clean” water.)
The Wat-Kim-Valley V.F.W. was asked by a city parks committee to donate “a big chunk of money” for a new park. The V.F.W. would like the park to be named for the V.F.W. and want to make sure that any donated money is earmarked for that park. (No one from the park committee attended the council meeting.)
Steve Mies came to the council to ask about possible TIF or tax abatement for an addition contemplated by Mies Outland, an approx. 3,000-sq.-ft. showroom for Indian Motorcycles that would be added onto the north side of the current showroom. As five or six jobs possibly could be added, the council is open to this possibility. Mies will come back to the council with actual numbers; they will discus the issue with the Watkins EDA as well.
A bus incident in town a month ago was discussed. A school bus had stopped for children to board, and a Kimball police car drove by with lights on. The city contacted the Meeker County Attorney about possible charges against the Kimball police chief who was driving. Apparently there was confusion as to whether the bus driver was motioning for children to get on the bus, or for the police to pass the bus, so there is nothing to prosecute on per state statutes. The police chief was on his way to an accident. Fortunately, no one was harmed.
Chuck Unterberger alerted the council to a problem of cars ignoring a 4-way stop near his home. In 10 minutes of monitoring it at around 3:30
p.m. one day, only three of 24 cars actually stopped for the stop sign (and the county sheriff deputy was one of the 21 who did not stop). Citizens can take down license plates of violators; then generally a warning is issued, and a ticket can be issued for a second violation.
The city is seal-coating streets. They will get separate quotes for Western Ave. and Luella St. and decide on those later.
The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at city hall.
Preparations are well under way to fix up the south wall of the Watkins pool. The more major repairs will be done in the fall. All is on target to have the pool ready for lessons starting June 10. (If you missed the May 4 sign-up for swim lessons, there are a few spots left in the schedule. Stop by City Hall to sign up with the city clerk; $35 payment will be due at sign-up.) Staff photo by Jean Doran Matua.