City holds off on street project near Trollskogen Park

By : 
Jordan Gerard

The Spring Grove City Council discussed, but decided to wait until next year to fix the roads near Trollskogen Park to divert rainwater.

Public Works Director Paul Morken said if the road remains untouched, water from seasonally melting snow and thunderstorms will continue to erode the hill in the park. 

“Water is running off the sides of the road down the hill. We’ve got too much water down there,” he said. “It’s getting under the road and wrecking it.”

He presented two options for the council. The first option was to install catch basins at 3rd St. SW and 2 1/2 St. SW. A 15-inch storm sewer pipe would also be added to divert the water to the north. That project could potentially be done this year.

The second option was to reconstruct 3rd Ave. SW from 2nd St. SW to 3rd St. Part of the street near Trollskogen Park would be widened to match the residential part of the street, however a curb would not be added on the park side.

“We would divert the road with more crown so the water stays on the east side of the road,” Morken said.

The council did not budget for this road project in 2018, and Morken suggested waiting until next year when two more streets, 2nd Ave. NW and 1st Ave. NW, will also see reconstruction.

That will also allow the council to budget for all three projects and possibly get a better price. Morken added there would not be much more damage if they held off on the project.

The council agreed to wait until next year to do the Trollskogen Park road project.

Library year-end report

Spring Grove Public Library Director Dawn Johnson thanked the council for letting her submit her year-end report later this year, as it allows her to gather more information.

“We’re a small library, but we do a really good job of maintaining services to the public,” she said. “There’s a lot of talk about the insignificance of libraries now since there’s a lot online, but we’re more of a community center than just information retrieval. Online information isn’t always accurate.”

She added kids come to the library after school for reading, socializing and using the internet for school work. 

Adults also utilize the computers for job searching if they don’t have internet at home.

Spring Grove’s library has about 1,694 registered users (965 in the city and 572 in the county). Children in the area checked out 4,844 physical items while adults checked out 12,822.

The library offered 42 programs for children, which was attended by 1,607 kids. They offered 26 adult programs, which were attended by 405 adults.

Johnson added the Friends of the Library group helps with several programs in town, including Free First Thursday Foreign Films, Summer Reading family reading program, Hot Reads for Cold Nights and 1,000 Books before Kindergarten.

The group also supports the library’s large print bi-monthly rotation with purchase of six new large print books every month. They’re also fundraising to replace five public use computers.

“The friends group brings large print circulation to the Spring Grove Manor, Tweteen Care Center and Spring Grove Assisted Living,” Johnson said. “We bring 20 each week, and the residents are standing at the door waiting for us to get the first pick. It’s a good tool and valuable service.”

New shelving was purchased for the CD and DVD display in 2017, which the friends group also helped with. Staff member Robert Rodenz passed away in 2017. Johnson said the library was lucky to find a good replacement in Bree Murphy.

In 2017, the five public libraries in Houston County wrote a collaborative grant to fund five Little Free Libraries for Spring Grove, Houston, La Crescent, Caledonia and Hokah. That project was funded with Minnesota Legacy funds.

Mayor Sarah Schroeder said she’s heard good feedback about the libraries.

Those same libraries are also bringing a new project to the entire county through another legacy grant. The library in each community selected four sites to be designated as history sites, or sites that have historical or natural value to encourage families to get outside and explore the county this summer.

For Spring Grove, those are the library, Norwegian Ridge Birding Trail, Spring Grove Soda Pop, Inc. and the Spring Grove Aquatic Center.

Booklets for participants will be available and distributed at the libraries. The goal is to travel around the county at their own pace, and make a rubbing from the metal tile on a post at the sites.

A short paragraph on the opposite page will give more information about the spot.

Johnson said through the program, the libraries hope to build “some pride among our residents in the amazing sites this county has to offer.”

The Houston County Historical Society will be contributing the historical information about the selected sites. The program is free to participate in.

Syttende Mai news

The council approved a temporary liquor license for the kickball tournament on Sunday, May 20, at the city ball field. The temporary license allows people to bring their own beverage to the tournament.

The council also approved road closures on Maple Drive and 1st Ave. NE by Viking Memorial Park all day Saturday, May 19, and on N. Division Ave/3rd St. NE to 1st Ave. NE after the parade.

Swim Center hires

The council received a list of hires and rehires for the swim center staff this summer. They approved the list.

Working the front desk will be Jena Benson (Office Manager) and Nicole Krenzke.

In the concession stand is Gina Lund, Rachel Krenzke, Kelsey Bratland, Sadie Blaskowski, Reid Bjerke, Brielle Neeley, Brianna Johnson, Ava Oleurd, Amelia Solum, Jonah Udstuen, Erika Donlan, Isaac Gengler and Vanessa Peterson.

On the pool deck, lifeguards will be Sam Folstad, Sydnie Kampschroer, Kailee Olerud, Alyssa Johnson, Takoda Boyd, Vivian Kampschroer, Zach Folstad, Harlee Gavin, Lauryn Bohr, Mariah Edgington, Kai Bjerke, Adrianna Reinhardt and Kaitlyn Gross.

Teaching swimming lessons will be water safety instructors Kai Bjerke, Mariah Edgington, Harlee Gavin, Alyssa Johnson, Kaitlyn Gross and Adrianna Reinhardt.

Other news

The council approved an easement to move the gas line near the service road on the northeast end of town. The gas line was already moved for the lift station near the pool.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Spring Grove City Council is May 15, at 6:30 p.m. at 168 W. Main St.

The council also noted for the mock crash happening at the school on Friday, April 27, from 8 a.m. to noon, MedLink Helicopter will also attend.