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Council vacates part of street, to allow for building expansion

GLENWOOD CITY — The City Council approved a resolution to vacate part of Industrial Park Drive to allow for expansion of a Misty Meadows Wood Products building in the city’s industrial park just west of the school.

The council approved vacating 16 feet on the east side of the street, which will allow Misty Meadows to build a 40 foot by 80 foot addition to their present facility.

Kevin Oium, of Cedar Corporation had last month presented the council with a detailed plan of the street and stated at the Monday evening meeting that there would still be fifty feet of right a way left after the city released the sixteen feet. He noted that the city utilities are all located in the remaining 50 feet.

Library Appropriation

Mayor John Larson took exception to local Library Director Marilyn Blumer’s suggestion last month that the city’s appropriation of $25,000 annually falls short as compared to other municipalities in the county. She had presented a list of county libraries and the amount they receive from their local government. Her figures indicated that compared to the eleven libraries that serve St. Croix County, Glenwood City appropriates less than any other, except Deer Park.

Mayor Larson pointed out that as compared to other communities, as to their equalized valuation, Glenwood City funds the local library at 0.042 percent of the city’s equalized valuation. “That is within the range of several other communities,” the mayor related. The mayor did suggest that he would support increasing the appropriation by $5,000 to $30,000 and that would result in the percentage of equalized increasing to 0.050. 

Glenwood City’s equalized valuation of $59,708,800 is the lowest of any county community that has a library, except Deer Park. Hammond and Roberts have more than twice the equalized valuation of Glenwood City. Mayor Larson noted that most other communities have a large commercial and industrial valuation base, but it is the home owners that make up most of Glenwood City’s valuation, he stated.

In a related matter, Blumer reported to the council about activities at the library and noted that the library had 12 new patrons in September as compared to 4 a year ago. Checkouts at the library for September were 1,484 up over 200 as compared to last year. She also noted about the “Play Library Bingo” event that is ongoing with prizes from Glenwood Orchard.

In other action the council approved spending $7,400 with a firm called Sunnylink Systems to install an offsite backup device and service for police and city computer servers and upgrades to city’s email system.

During reports the council learned of radio up grades from Julie Lee, ambulance co-director and Police Chief Robert Darwin. Both indicted that their departments needed to purchase at least one new radio to conform to the new system that was being installed at the county level.

Lee also reported that one new person is completing EMT training and two others will start schooling in January. She noted that like most other communities in the county, the local ambulance service has trouble getting sufficient number of personnel to staff the ambulance, especially during day time hours.

The Council heard from Brent Standaert about the Summer Rec program and improvements at Hinman Park. He was happy to report that a grant of $13,813 was received by the city for the park improvements from New Richmond Farmers Union.

“That brings the donations to about $145,000 for the project,” Standaert said. He indicated that they are still some $5,700 short to cover the project cost.

Public Works Director David Caress reported that the new retaining wall along First Street has been completed and back fill has been placed. “We are going to let it settle for a couple of weeks before we finish,” he stated.

During his report, Mayor Larson read a letter from Mike Barstad of Mike’s Towing, who asked for an ordinance change to allow his tow truck drivers to bring home a tow truck in the evening and park on a city street. “I have three drivers that live in the city and have no room in their yard to park a truck.” Mayor Larson made a point of setting up a committee of the whole meeting to discuss this and other ordinances. The meeting will be on October 30. The city is in the process of re-doing their ordinances.

And, finally, the council approved an operator’s license to Rita M. Mara.