Ostrander Council selling police car, sets filing dates for open seat

Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

Ostrander’s City Council dealt with various items during its July 2 regular monthly meeting, including approving advertising for bids for the sale of the city’s former police car.    

Ostrander city clerk Wendy Brincks outlined the terms for the car, for which there had been an inquiry regarding how many hours it had been idled.  Members of the gallery and the council suggested that that information may be best obtained by taking the car to a mechanic and that the hours would be few because former police chief Tom Mosher wouldn’t idle the car if he wasn’t going anywhere. 

Bids will be accepted until early August; they will be opened at the August council meeting on Aug. 7, which was rescheduled from the original Tuesday, Aug. 6, date due to National Night Out taking place on Aug. 6.     

Upcoming elections garnered some attention as the council acknowledged filing dates for a special election to fill a City Council seat vacated by Heidi Jones, who is now Fillmore County’s auditor-treasurer. 

The filing dates for the special election on Nov. 5 opens on July 30 and ends on Tuesday, Aug. 13.  If candidates will be unavailable at that time, they may file by arrangement with the city clerk. 

Conversation turned toward the upcoming Fillmore County commissioners’ election for which candidates are Kevin Beck and Larry Hindt, both of Spring Valley.  Mayor Pam Kunert said she felt that the commissioner candidates should come to present their information before the election. The rest of the council agreed. 

Next up was the city’s floodplain ordinance, something new that’s required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Every city in Fillmore County must have a floodplain ordinance,” Brincks informed the council. “It’s a new mandate, and we’ve gotten a bid from Davies for $1,200 to $1,900. Davies would provide a review and comment for $1,200, or they can write the ordinance for $1,900.  I talked to Brian Malm (of Bolton & Menk) about it, and he said they can work with us as well.” 

Councilor Dan Hellerud stated, “I think we should at least table it for another month.”  More information is forthcoming on what the city will do.

There was a request for a change order to extend Wapasha Construction’s infrastructure project completion date for work being done to update Ostrander’s water system due to rain delays, but Brincks noted that the funding would not be available. 

“This is a change order to extend Wapasha’s construction date, but Rural Development won’t agree to it,” she said. “Brian Malm is working with them to bring Rural Development onboard, but they’re being extra sticklers for this.” 

The council has to await Rural Development’s final decision to determine what will be done next.  Additionally, the council authorized a check to A-1 Excavating for $646,384, with Brincks’s assurance that this is the final check that will be sent for street improvements. 

“We’ll do a final walk-through, and there’ll be no more checks cut,” she said.     

Brincks also gave the sheriff’s report – which included a case of identity theft.

The councilors voted to allow Caleb Hall to replace Lucy Drinkall as a First Responder, as Drinkall has served Ostrander for quite some time and chose to resign to pursue other interests and commitments.