In its Aug. 8 meeting, the Watkins City Council moved quickly through mostly old business and a few items of new business.
Sheriff’s report indicated 42 calls during July. (See crime blotter on page 20.)
Public Works director Steve Geislinger reported that the city had successfully traded the road grader for a Caterpillar. It should serve the city well for a long time.
Pool manager Nora Rohrbeck reported that 78 people signed up for the mayor’s free swim day; there probably were more who attended but didn’t register. The next free swim will be from noon-
7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, sponsored by Farmers State Bank of Watkins. The teen night will follow at 7 p.m. The pool will be open through Labor Day, then close for the season to have repairs done on it.
The Eden Valley city council met Wednesday, Aug. 7, for its regular meeting, but the council was two short of its usual four members. Eric Reetz had resigned in April because he was moving out of state. Cheryl Thielen resigned by e-mail in July, effective Aug. 1; she also may have moved out of town.
A special election had already been scheduled for Sept. 10 to fill Reetz’ council spot. Three candidates (Robert Bischof, Jeff Bradshaw, and Daniel Schmitt) have filed for that election. A new special election must be scheduled to fill Thielen’s spot; that will be in January 2014.
The largest portion of time at this meeting was taken up discussing two neighbors fighting over a small portion of fence and a property line. It’s come to putting up a string line, demanding lawn be mowed (but refusing access to that part of the lawn), arguing about who has the “right” and “wrong” side of the fence facing them, and turning to the city’s planning and zoning committee for resolution.
At its July 30 meeting, Stearns County’s Board of Commissioners adopted a wheelage tax to pay for road construction projects. A wheelage tax is a $10 per vehicle surcharge added to car tab purchases, with some vehicles being exempt such as motorcycles, recreational trailers, classic vehicles, or trailers.
The new tax will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, and the vote to adopt it was unanimous. Benton and Sherburne counties have already voted to adopt it.
Stearns County considered this option as it struggles to keep up with road maintenance. The tax will fill gaps in road funding when other current revenue sources, state and federal aid are not expected to significantly increase in the future.
Event connects people to the Mississippi River while celebrating Minnesota State Water Trails 50th Anniversary
One of the premiere outdoor events in central Minnesota will return for its fifth consecutive year on Saturday, Aug. 10, at Stearns County’s Mississippi River Park.
Take a Day OFF* (Outdoor Family Fun) on the Mississippi River will provide families from the Stearns and Benton County area with a chance to experience a variety of outdoor recreational and nature-educational activities while celebrating Minnesota State Water Trails 50th Anniversary. The event will include canoeing, fishing, geocaching, archery, live native animals, make and take projects for kids and much more. No experience is necessary, all equipment is provided, and activities are free.
Central Minnesota veterans and their families are invited to Rendezvous for an afternoon of music, fun, and connection to fellow veterans and the St. Cloud VA and its programs, from 1 to
4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Circle Parking Lot on the campus of the St. Cloud VA Medical Center.
“In naming this event, we chose Rendezvous for some of the symbolism it conveys, but the number one thing we want to provide is an opportunity for veterans to connect with each other in a relaxing, fun and welcoming environment,” said Brett Jagodzinski, a VA employee organizing the event.