Special EV City Council Election
A special election is set for Tuesday, Jan. 28, to fill a vacancy on the Eden Valley City Council.
Three men are vying for the seat.
Brent Bengtson, 40, grew up in Litchfield and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1992. He is employed as an IT Architect at United Health Group.
He and his wife of 10 years,
Stacey, have a son, Isaac, who is in fifth grade. Bengston is currently the Cub Master for Pack 363 and Assistant Scout Master for Troop 363 in Eden Valley/Watkins.
George Rindelaub, Stearns County Administrator, received the “Joe Ries Excellence in County Management Award.”
Since 1999, the current president of the Minnesota Association of County Administrators (MACA) selects one MACA member annually to receive the “Joe Ries Excellence in County Management Award” for demonstrating exemplary service and leadership in the field of county management.
George Rindelaub, Stearns
County Administrator, was selected to receive this year’s award by MACA president Duane Hebert, Winona County Administrator. George was selected to receive this award because he has provided 30 years of exemplary service in county government, with 25 years spent in
Stearns County and five years in Isanti County.
At its Dec. 12 meeting, the Watkins City Council adopted its final 2014 property tax levy and budget. The approved levy is $533,270 which includes two outstanding bonds from 2007 and 2013.
The council agreed to allow St. Anthony Church to use the Village Hall during winter 2014, and before then if needed. The church is in the process of replacing its boiler, and the school’s boiler is on its last legs. In the event the boiler at the school goes, they will need a place for religion classes and as a social hall for funerals, fish fry events, etc. The council agreed to a $25/floor fee to the church for religious ed. classes, $50 per other event, and a refundable $200 cleaning deposit (only actual cleaning charges will be deducted from it). They will get one event per year free, like all other non-profits.
The preliminary 2014 levy was set for the City of South Haven at $111,483, a 2-percent increase instead of the 3-percent increase previously set. The 2014 general budget is $178,724. The final 2014 levy can be decreased but not increased.
Anual cost-of-living wage increases for both hourly and salaried employees were deferred until after the annual financial statement for 2013 is presented in February.
Kurt Hubbs, owner of 410 Oak Ave. building, attended the Dec. 3 council meeting. He lives in the upper west wing of the building and would like to rent out the upper east wing as an apartment. Building inspector Scott Qualle recommends that a certificate of occupancy for the rental unit be required. Last year, the building was not approved for an R2 zoning (two-family occupancy), but Qualle has no objection to the request if the unit passes inspection. Parking could be an issue. The council approved Hobbs’ request, and will allow a second apartment if all requirements are met.
At its Dec. 3 meeting, the Kimball City Council adopted its final 2014 property tax levy and budget. The approved levy is $425,703, including several bonds, up 5 percent from last year.
The new police truck is in. Equipment will be swapped out before it is put into use, after Jan. 1. The council approved renewing the contract with Fair Haven for policing there.
City engineer Randy Sabart discussed the need to make accessibility changes to City Hall. Because the city received a loan through U.S.D.A. Rural Development, the government agency can require that City Hall meet accessibility requirements. The most important issues are front-door access, and bathrooms. The fire exit on the south side of the building also is not accessible. SEH, the city’s engineering firm, has drawn up plans and the city must budget for improvements to start in the spring.
Old city street signs will be for sale, as available, for $10 each at city hall.
The next meeting of the Kimball city council is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7.