Now that construction is completed for the season in downtown Eden Valley, there was concern about safely keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice. The problem is that the sidewalks are new cement, and some snow removal methods could harm them.
The solution: the city has contracted with Landscaping Plus to clear all downtown sidewalks for the duration of the winter.
Three individuals have filed for the January 28 special election to fill a remaining council seat. They are Robert Bischof, Mark Kern, and Brent Bengtson.
The council adopted its 2014 budget and levy, with no increases over the 2013 levy. The 2014 levy is $400,000; it has not increased in five years.
“We’re working within the dollars we allocate,” said mayor Pete Korman.
Because the State of Minnesota has made cities tax-exempt for many purchases starting in 2014, the city could save about $13,000 (the amount of sales tax paid by the city in 2012).
The city could also save nearly $20,000 by not having two full-time employees in the office.
A water and sewer rate increase was approved. The base rate for sewer will go from $7 to $10, and from $4.25/1,000 gallons to $5.25/1,000; and the water rate will go from $7 to $9 base, and from $7.50/1,000 to $8.75/1,000. The council agreed that they don’t like to raise fees, but this increase was needed.
Work on water and sewer and streets has been completed for the season. A street lamp installation, and installation of railroad crossing arms had not yet been scheduled; it should be done soon. All remaining work will commence in the spring. The council asked that it begin as soon as possible. They were assured that the contract states that the parade route must be available for Valley Daze in June.
The next meeting of the Eden Valley City Council will be at
7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8.
Meetings are always open to the public, and they are televised on Arvig cable TV Thursdays.
December is the designated month for city councils and school boards to approve their final levies for the coming year.
While no one can adequately predict the future, these local government bodies must anticipate next year’s needs and shortfalls. The final levy can be changed next year; it can go down, but it cannot be increased. This would work fine if state legislators didn’t add mandates or withhold funds as they so often do.
All of these government entities work long and hard calculating budgets, planning for all contingencies, and trying to keep taxes as low as possible while still meeting expenses.
Friday, Dec. 27, will be a busy day for the Meeker Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in Litchfield. Meeker SWCD will be hosting an open house at their offices at
916 East St. Paul Street in Litchfield from 1-4 p.m. that day.
Financial assistance for the installation of conservation practices is one of the services provided by Meeker SWCD. This assistance can come in the form of cost-share reimbursement or low-interest loans. Other services of the District include the sale of conservation trees and planting services, the administration of pesticide tests, feedlot registration and more. To help the public understand what programs and services are available, information will be available and staff will be on hand to answer questions local landowners might have. Trees for spring planting can be ordered that day.
Record number of entries
Stearns County’s Web Team picked the winning photos in its “Fall Favorites” Photo Contest. Five winners were chosen in Stearns County’s fourth annual amateur photo contest.
• An Huynh Olmscheid of St. Cloud won for her photo “Wandering through the native grasses at Quarry Park”
• Jackie Deters, Albany, had her photo “Leaf Pile Jumping” make the top five
• Carol Horsman from Waite Park also had a winning photo with “Grasshopper Chapel at Sunset”
• Tim Johnson of St. Cloud won with his photo entitled “Boardwalk Loop”
• Michelle Meier, Watkins, had a winning photo called “Fall Harvest”
The 10th Annual Physically Disabled Veterans Turkey Hunt is scheduled for May 6-8, 2014, at Camp Ripley near Little Falls.
Veterans interested in participating should contact Dennis Erie at (320) 255-6365, for application instructions.
This special hunt is provided for physically disabled veterans who are currently receiving outpatient care or are eligible to receive health care from the VA and cannot hunt during the regular firearms season.
The Physically Disabled Veterans Turkey Hunt is a joint effort of the St. Cloud VA Medical Center, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota National Guard, Camp Ripley, and is sponsored by the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and their respective Auxiliaries.