By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN “We need housing we really need senior housing,” Winsted Mayor Steve Stotko said at the city council meeting Oct. 2.
Stotko said at least a few lifelong residents have moved away because Winsted doesn’t have enough homes geared toward the elderly population.
“We can’t have that happen; it hurts,” he commented.
So far in 2018, Winsted has not had any new home permits, according to Metro West Inspections building inspector Pat Skeie and office manager Jack Weizel.
Weizel said many of the new homes in other communities are being constructed by national builders. Stotko asked Weizel and Skeie to encourage any interested builders to contact Winsted, because the city is willing to work with them.
Stotko said, in his opinion, it would be good for Winsted to have more 1,100- to 1,500-square-foot homes that are one level with no basement. The homes could be singles, twin homes, or quads, and they would ideally include two-car garages, he added.
So far in 2018, the only building permits issued in Winsted were 19 re-roofs, three basements, four decks, one new salt shed, and several miscellaneous permits, for a total of 65.
City administrator approved
In other matters, the council authorized hiring Adam Birkholz as Winsted’s new city administrator. Birkholz is currently the community development coordinator in Lester Prairie.
Birkholz’s official start date in Winsted will be Monday, Nov. 5. His annual salary is set at $75,670.
Water tower update
Another topic at the meeting was the water tower maintenance project. Stotko said the project should be completely done by next week, weather permitting. The tower will then be refilled with water.
The color chosen for the word “Winsted” on the tower is called cadet blue. Stotko said workers weren’t able to find the old paint colors, so new colors were selected.
Stotko said he received a quote for a LED floodlight for the water tower, and he plans to share it with the council at a future meeting.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. to consider the purchase of body-worn cameras for the Winsted Police Department. The hearing will take place in the council chambers of city hall, during the regular council meeting.
• heard that the Winsted Volunteer Fire Department will be meeting in early November to plan its 2019 budget. During that meeting, members will discuss the possibility of implementing a paid-on-call system and changing fire protection fees from $127 to $142 per unit. The fire department will then make a recommendation to the city council for approval.
• adopted an ordinance to amend a section of city code regulating non-essential water usage in case of a critical water deficiency emergency declared by the governor. Non-essential usage refers to things like watering lawns, washing sidewalks, and filling swimming pools. Cities of more than 1,000 people are required to have this ordinance in place.
• heard that Winsted’s lift station and generator upgrades should be complete before winter.
• approved terminating an agreement with Bradley Borrell for hangar #17 at the Winsted Municipal Airport, and instating a new agreement for the same hangar under the name “Bradley J. Borrell Trust Agreement/Rebecca Ann Borrell, Trustee.” The council then approved terminating this new agreement, and approving a new agreement for that hangar with Paul A. Peterson.
• heard from Police Chief Justin Heldt that winter parking rules will begin Thursday, Nov. 1. During the months of November through March, no parking is allowed between 2 and 6 a.m. on any city street. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact the police department at 320-485-2366.