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City discusses sand mining agreement, approves ordinance codification proposal

GLENWOOD CITY — Although there has been little discussion or action concerning the proposed non-metallic sand mine on the city’s south side for several months, the subject drew an impromptu discussion during the Mayor’s report at the Glenwood City Common Council’s regular meeting on Monday, February 9.

While Mayor John Larson had been outlining several items for the City’s midrange financial planning, which included sewer upgrades, listing and sale of the old city hall (on the corner of Second and Pine Streets), equipment replacement schedules and the Safe-Route-to-School Program, it prompted councilperson Ken Peterson to query the Mayor about the City’s agreement with Vista Sand.

“I have a quick question on another topic, that amended and restated agreement, is that moving along?” asked Peterson.

Larson said that he actually had it with him and looking at it, stated that he needed to get a clarification from the attorney on it.

The Mayor went on to say, “I have not heard anything from Vista” about the proposed mine, adding that he had recently spoken to land owner Scott Teigen and that it was the mayor’s interpretation that there may not be anything happening right way this spring.

Member Nancy Hover asked what they (Vista) were waiting for to which Larson replied that he had “no clue”.

Peterson again interjected saying, “Still the agreement has to be put into place.”

“If we need that,” said Larson.

To which Peterson quickly responded, “The (amended and restated) agreement was approved the same day it (land) was annexed and it either needs to be executed with approved signatures or we rescind the signature on the original (agreement).”

“It has been put in place, just because R.J. (Sikes) is in jail, does not mean that the other one (amended agreement) doesn’t need to be executed,” Peterson continued. “It was approved for signature and has not been signed. I brought this to your attention months ago.”

Larson spent several minutes paging through and reading aloud sections of the agreements.

Peterson said that what the amended and restated agreement essentially does is to officially incorporate the Glenwood City School District’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Vista Sand into the City’s original agreement with the company.

The Mayor believed that all the agreements had already been signed but Peterson disagreed.

Peterson noted that it was the original agreement that had been signed by Sikes but then there was the amended and restated agreement that had the school’s changes.

“That was put to vote on the same day it (land) was annexed,” said Peterson. “And we all agreed, unanimously, to incorporate the schools changes in the amended and restated agreement. That agreement has not yet been executed by you or Vista Sand.”

Discussion continued on the matter as the Mayor reviewed the documents and City Clerk-Treasurer Shari Rosenow checked official meeting records.

“So what are you saying,” councilperson Hover asked Peterson.

“I am saying that, since the original agreement was entered into as per the whereas statement toward the bottom of the amended agreement, which incorporates the school’s changes that we all unanimously approved,” said Peterson. “However, that was the same night as the annexation and inadvertently the amended and restated agreement was not executed by John nor was it executed by Vista.”

“It was my impression that everything had been signed,” responded Hover.

“It’s not all signed,” said Peterson.

The Mayor said it was his recollection that it was signed and if it was not then Peterson was correct – it needs to be signed.

“All we have to do is sign,” Peterson said. “It was approved to be signed and just needs to be signed and it should be signed  by R.J. or someone with credible integrity from Vista.”

Peterson said that he believes that the original agreements gives Vista the authority to mine since the City annexed it, even though their is the amended and restated agreement. Without the City executing that amended and restated agreement, it does not incorporate the school’s changes should the mine decide to start.

“We enforce the amended and restated agreement that was agreed to and we sign it and they sign it and then everything is ready to go in my mind,” said Peterson.

After more discussion, the council was in consensus that the amended agreement needed to be signed.

The Mayor agreed saying that he would be in contact with the city’s attorney, Terry Dunst, the following day.

New Codification

The council also had considerable discussion about the proposal by General Code of Rochester, NY to re codify the City’s Ordinance book as well as digitize it for web access by citizens.

Member Steve Lee had concerns about web links that may be lost if an ordinance changes and the amount of annual fees changed by the company to maintain the online site.

Mayor Larson noted that the Villages of Baldwin, Woodville and Frederic along with others currently are currently using the company’s services.

After several more minutes of discussion the council voted 5 to 1 (Lee dissented) to accept the proposal from General Code for $15,260.

In other matters, The City Common Council:

•Unanimously approved operator’s licenses for Heather B. Lee, Mary Jo Parrish, and Amanda J. Sears. Clerk-Treasurer Shari Rosenow confirmed that all three had passed their background checks.

•Approved a $100 donation to the Glenwood City Post Prom. A suggestion to increase the donation amount was not acted on after it was learned that the $100 amount was all that was budget for in 2015.

•Heard an update on the summer rec program from member Ken Peterson. He noted that operating guidelines had been distributed. Peterson also noted that there have been discussions on upgrading field one at Hinman Park later this year. Peterson told members that any such plans along with the financing  would require the city’s approval.

•Reviewed the January 2015 Police Report. A total of 39 police events had occurred in the month with 28 citations, arrests, or other actions. Most of the events were traffic stops but the department also handled a pair of disorderly conduct and juvenile cases, five warrant services/paper services, a welfare check, a worthless check, a mutual aid call, and a civil dispute. A total of 325 hours had been logged in January.

•Learned that the Glenwood City Library held a “Food for Fines” event in January and that another one may be held in the near future. The Friends of the Glenwood City Library will be having a Book Sale/Bake Sale this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 13 and 14 with chances to win Chamber Dollars to be used at Glenwood City area businesses. There will also be several technology classes offered throughout the year. One is scheduled for February 19 with other to follow on April 11, June 18, August 20, October 15 and November 19. More information is available on the library’s website:

•Was queried by the Mayor for questions on the new employee handbook to which there were none. The mayor hopes to have the document finalized soon.

•Learned that the DNR would like the City to bring Well #2 up to code or put in a new one.

•Per the Mayor’s request, needs to make some decisions on the old city hall and get it ready to be listed for sale.

•Expressed a desire to work with the Glenwood City School District on its “Safe Route to School” program for which the city received a grant.