At its Jan. 9 meeting, the Watkins City Council approved the purchase of a playground set for $16,756 from Midwest Playscapes, Inc., of Chaska. The playground equipment had been approved last year, but the council agreed to wait to make the purchase until 2014 so the city doesn’t need to pay sales tax on it. Another $1,520 will be added to the bill to pay for engineered wood fiber safety surfacing in the playground area. Another $1,135 will be added for installation of the playground. The purchase price includes freight delivery. The playground will be installed in a lot designated for the playground in the Faber Addition on the west side of Watkins.
The mayor appointed council members to the following posts: Jerry Hesse acting mayor and street commissioner, Melody Gertken water commissioner, Scott Piccerillo sewer commissioner and shade tree commissioner, and Sue Unterberger police commissioner.
The City of South Haven set the following appointments for 2014 at its Jan. 7 council meeting:
• Kandice Voigt is Community City Hall Supervisor, and acting mayor for April through June.
• Annette Gunnerson is Park Maintenance Supervisor, Street Maintenance Supervisor, Co-Weed Inspector (along with mayor Lemke), and acting mayor January through March.
• Russ Christinsen is Water Department Supervisor, Sewer Department Supervisor, and acting mayor October through December.
• Norman Bodeker is Fire Dept. Liaison, and acting mayor July through September.
• Mayor John Lemke is Municipal Liquor Store Liaison, and Emergency Management and Fire Commission Representative (along with Norman Bodeker and Fire Chief Kenneth Laney).
• Timothy Young of Young & Brown LLP is City Attorney. Annandale State Bank is official depository; certificates of deposits are authorized through Annandale State Bank and Star Bank. The Annandale Advocate is the official newspaper of the city.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has added five illnesses to service-connected Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). What this means is that veterans who have those illnesses as well as TBI will have an easier time getting additional disability benefits.
The VA based its decision on a report by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine that found “sufficient evidence” to link moderate to severe TBI with the five conditions: Parkinson’s disease, certain types of dementia, depression, unprovoked seizures or certain diseases of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. Those secondary illnesses will be considered service-connected and won’t require medical opinions to establish whether there is correlation to TBI.
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.