Tricounty News

Kimball approves water tower mixer purchase, wrestling

At the April 8 Kimball City Council meeting, the city approved a conditional use permit for Arnold’s to upgrade their sign and fascia on the building.

They also approved the purchase of a mixer for the water tower. This winter there was 2 feet or more of ice on the surface of the water in the water tower. Had there been a fire in the city, there wasn’t enough water or pressure to fill a tanker truck. (Arrangements were in place for mutual aid from other towns, so Kimball was not at risk.) The mixer will keep that much ice from forming again. The cost is about $20,000.

The city approved paying water line repair bills for residents whose water lines froze on the city’s portion of the line; there were four homes that qualified for reimbursement, with a total cost of about $2,000. They also will re-adjust water bills for two residents who requested it (after running their water to keep from freezing). The city has contacted most residents, if not all, to stop running water to prevent freezing.


The city’s auditor presented ther report: the city passed with an unmodified report (the best possible). There was a spike in expenditures in 2012, for the downtown utility project. Bonds were refinanced in 2013. The city has a “healthy fund balance” in reserve, about 6.5 months worth (with 5 months being the minimum). $20,873 remains in the downtown utility project general fund.

Maus Drive

The city’s engineer presented a feasibility report on replacing Maus Drive. He said it is “feasible, needed, and cost-effective.” The plan will keep the 24-foot width, but would cut out pavement areas, about 2-3 feet deep, to be planted as grass; this would help with infiltration of water (water quality), and clearly define parking vs. road (safety). The next hurdle will be financing it. The plan is to assess 50 percent of the $600,000 cost to adjacent properties that would benefit directly, and the city would pay the other 50 percent. Property owner Tom Ehlinger expressed his objections to this. When he built his building, Maus Drive was gravel; he asked the city to pave it and he was told to do it himself. He paid for it then, and now he’s being asked to pay again for something the city never invested in, and never maintained. To him, for his 100 feet of frontage, it would cost about $17,000. No decision was made that night on how to proceed.


The city’s attorney discussed Kim-Built Country Store & Deli, specifically their status with permits, inspections and approvals. The state fire marshal has inspected and approved the bulk fuel tanks. The Department of Agriculture still (as of April 8) had to complete the final inspection of the kitchen area. All permits were submitted, but a detailed (with hydrology calculations and contours) drainage plan was still missing. The city and attorney agreed to accept the incomplete plan, and to hold Kim-Built to that plan (showing relative location and capacity of the ponds). No further action is needed at this time.

Other business

The Chief of Police did not give a report as that computer was down. “It’s nuts out there,” he did say though, referring to increased criminal activity with the warmer temperatures.

Clean-up day in Kimball will be from 8-11 a.m. Saturday, May 3.

French Lake Wrestling will be a part of Kimball Days this year, in the city/Knaus parking lot from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, before the street dance.

Kimball United Methodist Church plans to erect a new sign, but requests that the $800 inspection fee be reduced. They will talk to the city’s building inspector.

The Kimball Express team has requested to continue the ball field maintenance program as in past years. The city will contribute $750 again for five treatments of lawn care for the ball field, with the Express paying the balance of about $500. The left field fence is heaving again from frost damage; the team will let the city know what is planned for repairs.

Career Corp will be in Kimball for a week working in Willow Creek Park. They will remove the current boardwalk in preparation to replace it, and will do work on the trails if they are unfrozen.