12/12/2013 1:58:00 PM Center City Council tackles lengthy agenda in quick fashion
by COLLEEN KASTANEK
Center City’s final meeting of the year was brief. In less than an hour the full council approved the consent agenda, held a Truth in Taxation Hearing, approved liquor and tobacco licenses, and heard several reports. The claims list of $432,000 resulted in some discussion. The December claims list was unusually high because it included a check to return the $376,000 water and sewer CD for the proposed jailhouse infrastructure to Chisago County. The council members perused some of the other line items and spent a few minutes discussing some of the usual day-to-day expenses required to run a city.
The meeting recessed at 7:15 for a four-minute Truth in Taxation Hearing. No one was present to comment on the city’s budget or proposed levy for 2014. Mark Wolcott reviewed the proposed revenue sources and budget of $291,000. The final Truth in Taxation review and approval was scheduled for 7 p.m., Tuesday December 10. City staff reported that NOVA Consulting, the firm that is assisting Center City with the Summit Avenue cleanup of abandoned buried fuel tanks, has submitted the initial application for reimbursement from the Minnesota Petrofund for that cleanup.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency initially approved removal and disposal of 105 cubic yards of contaminated soil, however 457 cubic yards of petroleum impacted soil had to be removed. NOVA Consulting submitted the application requesting a refund for the full amount of $21,325, and included a letter of explanation from the city engineer. Public works Superintendent Eric Garner presented benchmark figures for monthly water and sewage flows. In November Center City pumped 2,087,500 gallons of water and 4,824,353 gallons of sewage flowed through its sewer lines. Sewage from the Hazelden campus and the South Sanitary Sewer District also goes through Center City’s lines.
However, these entities have their own water sources, hence the difference in the figures. Garner will monitor gallonage to determine if there is significant infiltration into the sewer system. Garner also reported that the maintenance staff scrapped out metal and the old generator for $480. Garner shared his plans to convert the generator trailer into a mobile water tank for various uses around the city. He will use the money from the scrap metal sale for that project. City Clerk Terrie Trudeau reported that she has written the grant for funds to cover expenses to implement the city’s wellhead protection plan. The grant was written to meet the Minnesota Department of Health’s requirements ahead of the 2016 deadline. The council unanimously approved the renewed tobacco license for The Swedish Village, off sale liquor license for RC Vintage and on-sale and Sunday liquor, and tobacco licenses for Al’s Saloon.
The Personnel Committee scheduled a meeting for 6:30 p.m. December 11 to conclude the probation periods for both maintenance department employees. The council reviews all employees in January, regardless of start date. The council reviewed the brief report from Becklin and Whitney Consulting Engineers, Inc. on the condition of The Manor at 508 Park Island. In brief, the firm recommends demolition of the building and garage. The council tabled discussion and action to the first meeting of the year, January 7.