Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, October 12, 1998

Dog issue done, Lester Prairie moves forward


"Per recommendation from the city attorney no further action on the dog issue will be taken by the city council," stated Mayor Ed Mlynar at Wednesday night's Lester Prairie City Council meeting.

Almost two years ago, Lester Prairie residents Linda and Barry Bondus came to the Lester Prairie City Council and requested that a dog that had bit their son be euthanized. The dog is owned by Bruce and Deborah Lutgen.

The council did not honor the Bondhus's request, but did pass a resolution establishing rules the Lutgens had to follow in order to keep their dog.

In July, the Bondhuses claimed the Lutgens had not followed the rules set in the resolution and again requested the dog be destroyed.

At that time, council member Galen Hochstein motioned for the dog to be euthanized, but the motion failed. The council instead carried a motion approving other additions and stipulations to the original resolution. With the dog getting another chance and the original resolution being amended, the bottom line now was that, if all stipulations were not complied with, the dog would be euthanized.

In August, Linda Bondus again returned to the council, saying the council did not follow Robert's Rules of Order in amending the dog resolution at the July meeting.

In response to Bondhus's complaint, City Attorney Kerry Olson said the council does need to observe Robert's Rules of Order unless it adopts an ordinance not requiring them to do so.

With the issue being on the burner for quite some time and emotions running high at the August meeting, Mayor Mlynar called for no more discussion on the issue and recessed the meeting, stating, the council had sixty days to reply to this issue.

On Sept. 8, the Bondhuses returned to the city council demanding the issue be discussed at the Sept. 8 meeting. The dog issue was not on the agenda for the meeting on the 8th, although Barry Bondhus had said that he read it in the paper and had it on tape that the issue would be on the agenda. With tempers flaring and the meeting out of control, Mlynar threatened to have the Bondhuses thrown out and stated the city would have to consult legal counsel on the issue.

At Wednesday's meeting, the council, per recommendation from the city attorney, closed the issue. "The resolution will stand as published," stated Mlynar. "This completes the issue and it will no longer be on our agenda."

Sewer and water to Depot

With much discussion, and representatives from the Depot at their side looking for a decision, the city council moved forward on extending city water and sanitary sewer to the Depot in the southwest corner of the city limits.

According to Tom Homme of Rieke, Carroll and Mueller (RCM), the city's engineering firm, the total cost of the project would be $45,867. The council proposed funding the project with an estimated $30,000 from the city, a $7,500 assessment to the Depot, and a $7,500 assessment to another adjoining property owner.

With plans or goals of completing the project this fall or early this winter, the council directed RCM to proceed on plans and specifications for the water and sanitary sewer extension to the Depot.

The matter will likely arise again at a Nov. 4 special meeting to finalize details, review easements needed, and officially move toward financing and completion of the project.

The sanitary sewer and water extension to the southwest corner of the city limits would be a large asset to future development in that area, Mlynar and the council noted.

Downtown street lights

With the council calling for specific costs and council member Galen Hochstein wanting to know who was going to pay for what at the Aug. 17 city council meeting, the issue of decorative street lights in downtown Lester Prairie came to the forefront Wednesday night.

Mayor Mlynar distributed very detailed estimates and proposals on several options for downtown street lighting prepared by Hochstein. Upon review, the council, with input from Fred Holasek, owner of Holasek and Sons Greenhouse, appropriated funds and moved forward on the project.

The proposal agreed upon by the council includes the city funding $10,000 of installation costs and paying estimated yearly costs for maintenance and utilities of $1,630.20 per year. The total cost of the project over a 10-year period was estimated at $35,647.00 and includes 13 poles installed downtown on Juniper St. Total upfront, or installation costs are $19,345, leaving an amount of $9,345 in installation costs to be accounted for.

The council discussed options for raising the additional $9,345 and looked toward Holasek for ways to get the community invovled in raising or coming up with those funds. "It ends up with the city paying for about 75 percent of the project," stated council member Kay Jepson.

In the project, the poles and fixtures are being donated by Holasek, Jerry Pawelk, owner of Jerry's Transmission, and Eric Angvall, owner of Angvall Hardware and Mercantile.

With discussion winding down and finances of the proposal detailed, Holasek informed the council that he would not be able to give them an answer on the donation of the poles at that time, but would have to confer with the other members of the group first. The council then noted that, if the group donating the poles no longer wanted to delay the project or move in a different direction, the council would look at another option.

In other business, the city council

­ Over the objections of two citizens, and questioning by Eric Angvall on how the city assesses corner lots, approved the 1998 street overlay assessment roll.

­ passed a motion accepting the mailbox ordinance, and advised those residents on the Lester Prairie mail carrier's route to follow established guidelines and contact Gopher State One Call before digging.

­ approved a request by Juul Contracting for an extension on the completion date of the city'scurrent storm sewer project. The original completion date was Oct. 1 and the extension calls for a completion date of Oct. 30. It was noted the city did delay the start of the project, not wanting to interfere with garage sale day.

­ awarded snow removal contracts.

­ approved a new sketch plan for the Ernst Development.

­ approved a rental agreement for city Christmas decorations.

­ noted that Formative Engineering is planning to move into their new building at the end of October

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