City Council asked opinion on sale of Co. health care land

GLENWOOD CITY — The city council was asked if they had an opinion about selling county owned land at the health care facility near New Richmond. The land was once called the county farm and is about 475 acres in size.

County Board member Brian Hurtgen appeared at the monthly council meeting of January 7 and asked the council members their opinion on the sale. Hurtgen noted that the county board would be voting on the matter at their January 8th meeting in Hudson.

“How do you feel about selling the county owned land?” Hurtgen asked. He indicated that he was not in favor of selling the land at this time and referenced the new Stillwater Bridge that is being planned and that land value would be higher in the future. Council member David Graese asked if the land is presently rented out as farmland and Hurtgen said it was.

Mayor John Larson also was in favor of waiting and most agreed that renting the land out on a five-year contract was the best for the county.

In other council matters, they heard a report from Kevin Oium of Cedar Corporation about planning the work for the Third and Elm Street Project. “We are putting the final plan together.” He requested the council to allow them to have soil borings done on those streets to determine what is under the street. Oium noted that both the water and sanitary mains are in the same trench on Elm Street and that with the new construction they will have to be placed in separate trenches.

The council gave its approval to spend up to $2,500 for the boring. Oium also informed the council that at their February meeting a public hearing would be held on the request from Glenhaven to vacate a half block long piece of Sixth Street north of Oak Street to allow for the new building project of Glenhaven.

During his report to the council, Police Chief Robert Darwin noted the number of items that his department had handled. He informed the council that they had issued 183 traffic citations during last year. Darwin and Mayor Larson talked about the mileage on the 2006 squad car, which at present has 120,000 miles and Larson thought it would not be until 2015 that a new unit could be purchased, but after looking over the city’s budget planning it was determined that a new one could be purchased in 2014. Darwin reported that the car gets about 900 miles a month while the other squad is driven about 600 miles a month. Council member Terry (Porky) Klinger noted that the 2006 car has many problems.

Council member Nancy Hover gave the monthly report from the library. It indicated that they had a book sale in December and they are planning on keeping the sale operational. “The lower level had been cleaned and the books are on display in a more browser-friendly fashion,” the report stated. She also noted that the staff is busy compiling data for the annual report of public libraries for the state.

At the beginning of the meeting the council approved the minutes of the December meeting and the committee of the whole meeting, but council member Scott Schone was concerned about only four of the six member body were in on the discussion about the pay scale for city employees. Hover indicated that the council did have a quorum for the meeting, “but I understand your concern,” she said. The council approved the meeting minutes and the recommendation on the 2013 wage and salary schedule.

The council approved a renewal contract with Fred Weber to be the building inspector. They also approved operators license for Heidi M. Hanson and Cayla M. Tuttle.