Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Oct. 22, 2001

Winsted City Council meets to discuss purchase of Bobcat equipment

By Ryan Gueningsman

Winsted City Council met Tuesday for what council member Tom Ollig considered "one of the shortest meetings on record."

The first item on the agenda was the meter reading report, given by City Clerk Betty Zachmann. Discussion arose on the issue of a tardy payment. The individual has been late with his payment three times, and it was decided to leave it as is, with the person having to pay what is owed to the city.

"We're being consistent with other communities, and with the citizens of Winsted. If he wants to challenge it, that's his right," said council member Ollig.

The purchase of new Bobcat equipment to replace the auger and snowblower attachments, which were returned for an in-store credit to Farm-Rite, was the next item up for discussion.

It was decided to go ahead and purchase an 18-inch planer attachment for the Bobcat for the cost of $7,985. The city has an in-store credit balance from the return of the auger and snowblower attachment toward the purchase of the planer for $5,125. The remaining amount, $2,860, will come out of the 2001 budget for equipment.

A temporary utility clerk, Kerri Jones, has been hired to take Nola Dickhausen's place while she is out on a five-month pregnancy leave, said Mayor Don Guggemos. Jones will receive $13/per hour and no benefits.

City Administrator Brent Mareck requested the council have a workshop for issues that will be coming up for the city. The industrial park, housing, the MPCA, and phosphorus level were all things mentioned by Mareck to be discussed.

It was decided to have the informational workshop prior to the council's regular meeting Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m.

Council member Tom Wiemeller brought up a call he received from a citizen about the city's blight ordinance ­ the citizen wanted to know who drives around and looks at blight in the community. They commented about the trailer park area especially.

"I drove by, and I have to agree with the person ­ it isn't pretty. I took a few minutes this weekend just to drive around, and there is a number of cars that are over the three month, or 90-day, expiration, and I thought that was one thing that was in our ordinance."

"If I'm not mistaken, it's not really a violation until they get out on the road," commented Guggemos.

It was said that because the city does not have someone directly responsible for watching blight in the community, anyone who sees anything is encouraged to contact the police department and they will check into it.

In the city's spring newsletter, the blight ordinance will be re-printed to remind people of it.

The city also has been asked to check into the possibility of two handicapped parking spots being put in place on the north part of Holy Trinity High School. The school wanted Police Chief Mike Henrich's opinion on the issue first, so the city maintenance department has been instructed not to paint the area until it is decided.

The council's next regular meeting will take place Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. due to the election taking place Nov. 6.

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