Lanesboro City Council approves DNR Cooperative Contract, continues preparing for 150th anniversary

Monday, April 1, saw the Lanesboro City Council meeting to discuss several issues, including reviewing and approving a contract with the DNR for some work to be completed on the south fishing site at the same time work is being done on the dam. The councilmembers were also updated on the plans for the city’s 150th anniversary.

According to City Administrator Michele Peterson, the agreement with the DNR would be done as the dam is being repaired, since that particular area will already be dewatered.

She stated the plan would be to redo the entire area and make the sidewalk a bit more protected from flooding.

With the contract, the DNR would be paying the city back for any costs associated with the update. The council approved the contract.

Ideas have continued rolling in for the 150th anniversary. Mayor Jason Resseman stated March saw another good turnout for the celebration committee meeting, with new people offering suggestions as well as others who had been there the previous month. A wide spectrum of possibilities for the anniversary has been brought up, including celebrating the anniversary throughout the year with a concentrated celebration during the Fourth of July weekend.

Resseman noted they had discussed tee shirts, buttons and sweatshirts for the 150th and planners had until mid-April to come up with a design. They have reached out to Kelly Printing for the project.

Resseman also informed the council the Sons of Norway were planning on doing something the Fourth of July weekend for dedicating its new hall and the League of Women Voters would have a suffrage display.

Reports

Council Member Tom Smith informed the council the EDA has been working on a study for a possible 22-bed assisted living facility.

The library is preparing for its summer reading program. It had also had the goal of a circulation of 2,000 per month, which was reached in January, but not February due to the weather. Councilmember Bridget Harvey noted Library Director Tara Johnson was looking to attend a meeting for small rural community libraries. She said she has gotten a lot of ideas from such a meeting before.

In the ambulance department, over the past few months, four new people had been approved to the roster. However, two have dropped off and Peterson requested the council approve removing them from the list. This was granted. Councilmember Chase Bakke commented this year’s pancake breakfast was really good in spite of bad weather.

Arts Campus Initiative

Councilmember Autumn Johnson shared exciting news with the council regarding Lanesboro being mentioned several times in an article put out by the National Governors Association because of the city council and the arts initiative in the community. She also stated Lanesboro’s influence is also seen through former Lanesboro Arts Director John Davis, who was currently in Kansas for a Lieutenant Governor’s symposium. He was asked to be a part of the symposium after being heard in Washington, D.C. She said he would likely be at another council meeting, perhaps in May, to give the council an update.

Other business

In regular business, the council approved a lot split, which was recommended by planning and zoning. It was noted the planning and zoning committee had seen no apparent downside to the split.

It also approved the advertising of the comprehensive plan request for proposals and a more comprehensive contract for renting the community center, including an application, rules and regulations and the final contract.

Annual staff reviews are coming up and Peterson stated she appreciated how the reviews had been conducted last year with two councilmembers attending the review. This will continue this year.

At least one councilmember is hoping to attend a League of Minnesota Cities convention at the end of June. Resseman encouraged several other council members to attend as well. Bakke stated he learned at training “a lot of communities strive to be like us.” Resseman agreed and said it is also a great opportunity for the council members to do some networking.

Mayor Resseman proclaimed the week of April 7 to 13 as National Volunteer Week.

Several requests for Buffalo Bill Days were approved, including temporary liquor licenses for the Chamber of Commerce beer and brat tent and Sip and Savor as well as the Lanesboro Firefighter Relief Association dance. In addition, a gambling permit was granted for the Chamber of Commerce.

Street closures were approved for May 11 and Sept. 11 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Parkway Ave. North to Root River Saloon for the Girls Day Out events.

Finally, the council also approved a sanitary sewer maintenance policy, a trace wire specification policy and a resolution authorizing lawful gambling.