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Council listens to plans to improve city ball fields

GLENWOOD CITY — The city council heard a report from the Summer Recreation Committee about plans to improve the city’s ball fields. Brent Standaert and Dean Fayerweather presented the 21-page report to the council at their monthly meeting Monday night.

The report addresses both the fields at Hinman Park and the one on Magnolia Drive with recommendation for improving those fields.

 An overview of the project at Hinman Park includes: orient both fields in the same direction, fix drainage problem along Oak Street, fix fence and dugout heaving, and provide better practice facilities.

At the Magnolia Drive ball field, improvements include augment infield dirt to reduce blowing sand and build batting cages that double as bullpens. This field is the ball field that the high school softball team plays on.

Standaert presented the council with a list of a dozen items that the committee has done or is planning for this coming season. But the council, Standaert, and Fayerweather spent nearly a half hour discussing the amount of work that needs to be done and the project cost and alternatives.

Standaert was asked about how the funding of the project and how much the city could fund toward its completion. They talked about getting grants and doing a fundraiser along with city money. Standaert suggested that the improvements would be “more than $60,000.”

After much discussion, Mayor John Larson commented, “What I am hearing from the council is that everyone is on board with this project.” Standaert indicated that he would attend next month’s council meeting with some concrete pricing for the project.

Police Mutual Aid Agreeement

New Richmond Police Chief, Mark Samelstead and John Shilts, St. Croix County Sheriff spoke to the city council about the new mutual aid agreement between all the law enforcement agencies in the county. Shilts told the council that the agreement “will allow law enforcement agencies to be more proactive to set up a lead time for an incident that would require a large number of law enforcement people.”

Samelstead said that every law enforcement agency in the county has signed on with this mutual aid agreement except Glenwood City. He said the idea is to have ready additional manpower to meet the need of a large scale event.” He also related that there would be no cost to the city to get help from other members of the group, except if the event lasted for many days.

After the council had asked a couple of questions, they approved the agreement, and it was signed by the mayor and Chief Darwin.

In other business, the council heard from Public Works director, Doug Doornink, who told about a recent water main break on Magnolia Drive. He indicated that it broke during the fire at Misty Meadows Wood Products last month.

Doornink believes that the cause of the break is with fire tankers being filled with water from hydrants, and the tanker is being filled at a rate of about 1,000 gallons per minute, when it is full, fire personnel close a large value on the tanker which stops that flow suddenly and causes a water hammer in the city water mains.

Doornink wants to work with the fire department to find a way to fill water tankers without causing a water hammer in the mains.

The council also discussed the need for more revenue for the sewer utility. Rates were raised last year, but the new revenues were not sufficient to cover costs that have been incurred. They talked about the new improvements that are in the works for the facility and that there is a need for more revenue. Mayor Larson referred to a report that Cedar Corporation did a couple of years ago, noting that Glenwood City had the lowest sewer rate of any community on the list.

And, lastly, Mayor Larson informed other members of the council that he is setting a special closed session meeting with the city’s attorney to discuss Vista Sand. The meeting will be on Monday, April 6.