During the 2013 Special Session
Monday, Sept. 9, the Minnesota legislature held a special session to address disaster relief for communities across the state impacted by severe storms, high winds, and flooding between June 20 and 26, 2013. State Senator Michelle Fischbach (R-Paynesville) voted in support of state aid for disaster relief.
“We have a rich tradition of supporting Minnesota communities and I am glad we worked together to provide disaster relief,” said Senator Fischbach. “Stearns County experienced approximately $550,000 in damages due to this storm.”
More than 600,000 homes and businesses throughout Minnesota lost electricity, making this the largest power outage in state history. Some utility customers were without light, refrigeration, climate control, and many amenities for as long as a week. Widespread road closures disrupted travel for residents, farmers, truckers, postal delivery, and emergency services with whole cities being isolated until water receded and debris could be cleared.
After a week of work on State Street/Highway 22, digging has begun right at the Highway 55 intersection Tuesday, Sept. 10. City public works director Jim Rademacher (second from left) The “road closed” signs have been up for a week, and it has been possible to get around them. Not after Tuesday. The detour for Highway 22 is west of town. Sewer lines will be replaced first, then water lines, and then storm sewers, before the roadway is replaced. This portion of the project should be completed in about two months, and work will continue on the north side of Stearns Avenue in the spring. Staff photo by Marguerite Laabs.
Land O’Lakes hearing
At their Sept. 3, 2013, meeting, the Kimball council held a public hearing regarding the Land O’Lakes Oil & Propane Company’s application for a Conditional Use Permit to install two more propane tanks. Land O’Lakes was present, along with someone from the company that will install the tanks, to explain where the tanks will be installed, and that they meet all requirements for setbacks from the railroad tracks, from buildings, and from other tanks. Their plan is to install one tank now, and another later; both will be 30,000-gallon tanks, 132 inches in diameter, with 5 feet between tanks. The reason for installing the tanks now is that a plant in Benson, one of their main suppliers, will close in spring and, as they explained, the closure will change everything.
There was no public comment.
The CUP was approved, with the same conditions placed on them as for Kim-Built (i.e., final approval is contingent upon successful full inspection).
Church Street traffic
A number of residents again descended upon the Eden Valley city council meeting, to discuss traffic on Church Street related to the ball field in the southwest corner of town. A number of options were discussed, including speed bumps, lighted traffic signs, increased police patrols, closing that entrance to the field, and working with the schools and coaches to cut down on student athletes speeding. Coach Mike Tomsche pointed out that no one has ever mentioned this to him, and that they can alleviate the problem immediately if it is ball players causing the problem. It’s bigger than that, though. According to residents, most of the speeding traffic is outsiders. Another lighted, solar-powered speed sign (like the one near the elementary school) would cost $4,500-$4,800.
The South Haven City Council met Tuesday, Sept. 3. The November council meeting will be held Wednesday, Nov. 6, instead of that Tuesday.
The council will have a public hearing on a delinquent utilities account during the Oct. 1 meeting.
The council accepted donation of $825 from the South Haven Fire Relief Gambling to the City; $450 of that went to South Haven Days, and $375 to the Girls’ Softball League.
South Haven will renew its membership in the League of Minnesota Cities ($355 annual dues).