Kent Louwagie of Bolton & Menk, the city’s engineering firm, told the Eden Valley City Council at its June 5 meeting that there is no bid date yet for planned road and water/sewer work on Highway 22. He explained that everything is ready to go, pending MnDOT approval of the project; they’ve had the paperwork since the first week of March but have not yet given the go-ahead. Once they receive MnDOT approval, the request for bids must be published three consecutive weeks, then they can open bids. It could take a week or so, Louwagie says, to execute a contract. He fully expects the project to begin yet this summer, and sees no obstacles once approval is received from MnDOT.
Patty Carlson of First Fuel Banks came with Jonathan Morales, the YES! program coordinator, to answer questions about a proposed oil recycling depository for the city. As part of the high school’s Carbon Cutting group, it is proposed to have an oil deposit container at the city maintenance building. The students would monitor the site, and First Fuel Banks would be responsible for emptying it and performing any clean-up needed. Carlson explained that there is no cost to the city for this, and that the proposed above-ground system is more cost-effective now than the below ground system in Kimball, for instance.
The city’s attorney has suggested that the site should be located on school property. The council will look further into this before agreeing to the site on city property.
Carlson explained that First Fuel Banks pays for the $20,000 container, for all hazardous waste removal and clean-up, and for publicizing the site’s availability to the public. They will raise the money to install the needed cement slab on which the container will be placed, and use local contractors to install it. They will host a grand opening when the time comes.
Carlson explained that this will be their sixtieth site in the 20-some years that First Fuel Banks has been doing this. She believes it is a good fit for the high school Carbon Cutters program, as they approached her for this.
Dean Headlee of CenterPoint Energy presented a check for $2,400 to the city as part of the company’s million-dollar Community Partnership Grant program. The funds will be used to purchase 800mHz radios for the Fire Department.
Eden Lake Township again asked the city to allow township residents to use the city’s compost facility. Concerns still exist about the facility’s capacity. The city suggested they look into alternative sites in the township, but has not yet said “no” to their request to use the city’s facility. It was pointed out that several township residents are already using the facility anyway. The township is willing to pay any additional costs for using the facility; costs now are estimated at $2,800 per year for manpower and $1,000 per year for equipment.
Brenda Rivera of Canadian Pacific Railway attended the meeting along with Bob Reardon (CP Rail Police) and Dale Buckholtz (CP Rail hazmat coordinator). They presented information about the overall safety of rail traffic going through town, and offered a “Railroad 101” class on hazardous materials, security, firefighting, and safety. The course would be taught in Eden Valley, at the council’s discretion.
The council approved all three residential building requests as recommended by the Planning & Zoning Committee: moving a deck and removing a porch, installing a wood shed, and building a home.
The city will hold a special election Tuesday, Sept. 10, from noon to 8 p.m. to fill the vacancy left by Eric Reetz who moved out of state.
A number of activities are being planned for Valley Daze – extra ones to make up for having had to cancel the parade this year because of anticipated road construction. There will be street closures as needed for these events, but there should be no problems with any of them. Valley Daze will again begin with a family-oriented kick-off in Watertower Park Thursday evening, June 20. (See ad on page 9 for a full list of events and activities during Valley Daze.)
The SpeakEasy bar and restaurant has been purchased and will reopen some time in July. Their liquor license has been approved, pending completion of all the appropriate paperwork. The name will remain the same.
The city’s insurance has investigated a claim by a neighbor of the ballfield about damage to their home and property; it was determined that the city is not negligent.
Police Chief Ernie Junker continues to give alcohol-server training for bars, the fire department, and other volunteers who may serve alcohol at events. The new police car is here; it is still being fitted with equipment.
The next meeting of the Eden Valley City Council will be Wednesday, July 3.
At left, Patty Carlson of First Fuel Banks showed the Eden Valley City Council a model of the above-ground used oil collection container they hope to install for the city and surrounding residents to use.
The new Eden Valley Police vehicle has arrived. It is still being fitted with radio and other equipment and is not yet in routine service. It was a long time coming, but Police Chief Ernie Junker is pleased with it so far. Staff photos by Jean Doran Matua.