Lanesboro to host Filthy 50 bike ride

By: 
Bretta Grabau

The Lanesboro City Council met to discuss many items on its agenda on Monday, May 6, one of which will have tremendous impact upon the city on Saturday, Oct. 12.

Several people from the Filthy 50 organization requested to come to Lanesboro when it hosts its annual bike race. Trenton Raygor addressed the council. He described the event as a bike ride traveling on gravel roads. He stated this has become quite a trend across the country, to the point where bike shops are even selling gravel bikes.

The Filthy 50 ride has been held in Stewartville for the past several years, but upon the sale of a piece of land essential to the ride there, planners began looking into other options. Lanesboro was suggested, especially because of the allure, aesthetics and historicity of the town.

The biggest issue of the event is the logistics angle. Raygor said it includes 1,000 riders, and the start is a mass start. Because of this, a couple of the roads, Highway 250 and Coffee Street, would be subject to closure for about six and a half hours. Raygor stated they had already discussed and received the OK from both MnDOT and Fillmore County for the closures, but the next step was to see if the City Council was interested in hosting the ride.

The start line would be in front of Pedal Pushers and is also the finish line, accounting for the closure, but Raygor did mention a possibility of opening the road for a couple hours after the start of the ride to when the fastest riders arrive at the finish.

The road would be closed at 10 a.m. and reopen at 4:30 p.m. The start would be at 10:30 a.m. with law enforcement leading the way. Several residents attended the meeting and asked Raygor a few questions, including if the start could be moved up to 7 a.m. He commented the big draw for this event is the late start, especially for those riders coming from the metro area.

Other logistical issues to be addressed would be parking, emergency and medical services, food and more. Vendors, sponsors and spectators would accompany the riders, but food would be coordinated with local businesses. Another item to be coordinated would be the simple influx of more than 1,000 riders would not be something the city’s sewer system could handle. Raygor did say historically Port-a-Potties have been brought in, and Mayor Jason Resseman said that option would need to be looked into.

Council Member Bridget Harvey said this event is logistically challenging, but it is worth trying out. Resseman stated there would have to be good communication with city staff and emergency services.

Lori Bakke of Granny’s Liquor weighed in on the conversation. She said, as a business owner, this event would only be a benefit for the town. “If we could deal with it for a few hours, I think it would be in the best interest of the city and it would be a huge opportunity for the businesses,” she said.

The council approved and welcomed the Filthy 50 to come to Lanesboro on Saturday, Oct. 12.

Audit summary

The council and the Lanesboro Public Utilities Commission heard the audit from Smith Shafer and Associates on the financial state in 2018.

The unassigned fund balance in the general fund equals 37% of annual general fund expenditures, excluding the Sons of Norway expenditures.

The fire fund operating deficit decreased $5,393 and the city should consider options to close the gap over time.

The sales tax fund balance of $48,215 was used towards the 2017A Zenith/Auburn bond.

Capital projects in 2018 included $3,044,092 spent on Zenith/Zuburn Streets, $104,495 spent on Park Road and $89,078 spent on the dam project.

All debt service funds are being adequately funded and all outstanding bonds are being paid on a timely basis.

The Lanesboro Public Utility Fund revenues continue to keep pace with the costs, fund cash reserves total $1,696,948 while outstanding debt obligations totaled $4,002,000.

Reports

David Haugen informed the council this year started out with a bang for the fire department with a couple structure fires. Later, the department responded to a car accident and a grass fire, but this month has been pretty quiet. There is a potential to do a live burn of an old building near the school, but there are some questions to be determined with the state prior to doing a live burn. However, this would be a good opportunity for training.

Haugen also updated the council on the public works. The plant for asphalt has finally opened, now allowing crews to work on fixing up the potholes, which resulted from the hard winter. As time allows, traffic lines will be painted on the streets.

At the brush dump, Haugen stated it is a weekly occurrence to see garbage mixed in with the leaves and grass clippings. It costs the city money to remove that garbage and dispose of it properly.

On the sidewalks, no quote was received to redo the sidewalks, but Haugen did look into a company that would grind down the sharp edges and keep the one-inch compliance with the ADA.

The 10-minute parking spaces have been effective for the most part, according to Bakke, however some people have been unsure on what spaces they actually are. The council asked the street department to highlight them as it sees fit, clearly designating the spaces.

The council also approved the purchase of a new sander. The current sander made it through the winter, but did have three emergency situations. Haugen received a couple of quotes, but recommended the cheaper option, which is an electric conveyer system and allows the operator to easily see out the back.

Lanesboro Arts Campus Initiative

John Davis spoke to the council about activities he has been a part of recently where Lanesboro has been an example on the national level. He recently spoke in Kansas at the Kansas Rural Operation Conference about Lanesboro and its economic development. He has been asked to return for more discussion.

Lanesboro was also mentioned specifically in the National Governors Association Publication every governor in the country sees. He also got to participate in a presentation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., about the Congressional Arts Caucus discussing rural policy and Lanesboro was used as an example. This was broadcast live on Facebook. Davis is also to participate in a planning committee for the Smithsonian Institute after the success of the Waterways exhibit which came to Lanesboro a couple of years ago.

“It has been an honor to advocate for Lanesboro. I love it, being able to advocate on a national level,” he stated.

The council approved a resolution to continue the advocacy of the Lanesboro Arts Campus Initiative, designating Davis as the National Arts Ambassador of Lanesboro.

Other business

The council approved the hire of Connor Ruen and Logan Jenson as part-time seasonal employees for the park board. The board discovered enough money was available in the budget to hire two applicants out of the three received and they would be able to relieve a full-time employee of having to work on the weekends.

The EDA board has not been in compliance with the statute for a while in the hopes to find another member to sit on the board. However, City Administrator Michele Peterson stated she thought it was time to act on the issue, going down to a three member EDA. Resseman noted the EDA does seem to be losing momentum and there needs to be more coming out of the EDA. The council agreed to try out the three-member board.

Briam Malm noted Bolton & Menk has been looking into funding opportunities for Kirkwood pavement and utilities as well as Beacon and Coffee Street. If funding would be available, the projects would be planned for 2020 or 2021.

Resseman updated the council on his recent experience at the Mayors Association Conference held in Stillwater. He noted those in attendance were impressed on how long Lanesboro’s daycare has been running. He reiterated he is continually surprised by how well known Lanesboro is on the state level. He had people try to get feedback from him on what Lanesboro does.

Peterson received her Minnesota Municipal Clerks certification this year, which is good for two years. She also explained some more behind-the-scenes of what happened during the Feb. 24 blizzard, thanking those who turned out to help, even bringing their own equipment to help clean up after the storm.

Resseman proclaimed May as Arbor Month. As a part of Arbor Month, 40 boulevard trees will be planted around town on Thursday and Friday this week.

The council approved the Buffalo Bill Days parade permit.

The council approved a $500 donation to the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation for use in the Lanesboro Community.