Lanesboro City Council hears capital improvement plan presentation

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The Lanesboro City Council met on Tuesday, Sept. 4, hearing from Mike Bubany about the city preparing financially for two major upcoming projects, specifically the State Highway 250 and a wastewater treatment plant.

Both these projects are a few years out. Bubany estimated the highway project to cost nearly $3.25 million currently, and the plant would be about $6 million. He noted the electric fund in Lanesboro is continuing to grow and sewer fund is slowly increasing as well. However, with these projects looming down the road, he advised the city to begin increasing the rates each year in order to prepare for funding the projects.

The city would be working with Bolten & Menk for these projects, which Bubany stated is very good at helping find other funding sources for such projects. He suggested the city also begin looking for these sources as well.

Buffalo Bill Days recap

Lori Bakke, chair of the Buffalo Bill Days committee, updated the council on this year’s celebration. It was another successful year, with a new event, Sip and Saver, being a success as well.

There were over 80 units in this year’s parade, and Sunday saw the largest crowd in the beer tent. The committee is looking forward to a restructuring with subcommittees doing more of the work behind the scenes since the celebration continues to grow.

Bakke noted there is a need for more volunteers. She also suggested the city have a float that would go to other town celebrations as another method to support their communities while in turn inviting them to Lanesboro.

Bakke also stated she will be stepping down as chair of the Buffalo Bills Day committee, but she will continue to chair the Sip and Saver committee.

Public works report

This past month, the public works department has been working on brush mowing ditches and alleys. The heavy rain over the past few weeks and months has caused some of the shoulders on the city’s gravel roads to disappear. And with all the rain, these roads also require more blading to fill in the ruts.

Dave Haugen shared these updates with the council, also emphasizing the department is now patching some city streets.

Public works is now working on a new service door on the shop, and once it is completed, the employees will work on moving their office to an extra office in the community center building.

Noxious and Invasive Vegetation Ordinance

The council approved an ordinance for prescribed grazing of noxious and invasive vegetation within the city limits. The solution is having a limited number of goats graze on areas with these plants that are within the city limits for 10 days at a time. There would be a permit involved for these goats to be put out on these areas. Since it is a nonchemical solution for dealing with these areas, Council Member Jason Resseman stated it was a unanimous decision from planning and zoning. The council approved as well.

Other business

The council approved the 2019 budget, liability insurance and a resignation from the library board.

Also passed were resolutions declaring cost to be assessed and ordering preparation of proposed assessment and for a hearing on proposed assessment for the Auburn and Zenith improvements. Brian Malm from Bolton & Menk noted the total project cost is $1.3 million, with $260,000 for assessment costs. The total is less than what was assumed in the bond issue. He also informed the council most of the assessments went down from the preliminary assessment, except if the homeowner signed to have some added work done. The only issue is one parcel is not included with the city limits, though the improvements are within the city limits. The parcel cannot be assessed by the city at this time, but if and when the property is annexed into the city, the city then can assess it.

The Legion will be working on tuck-pointing on the building. The project will cost about $18,500, but the Legion is looking to apply for a Minnesota Historical Society grant for $10,000. In order to do this, the city was asked to be the fiscal agent. This was granted.

Finally, the engine in the public utilities building will be removed by Fairview Mechanical for $73,915 from the electric fund. Though the door is a bit smaller than what is ideal, the company said it could deal with the removal. City Administrator Michele Peterson informed the council the engine had been brand new in 1938 and was at another community until Lanesboro purchased it in 1968. Since then it has added up thousands of hours, and has kept the city’s lights on during a power outage until it can no longer run. Resseman asked if the engine could be checked for names and dates that might have any historical value. If there are, these could be given to the museum.