Ceylon plans to raze facility

CEYLON — Ceylon City Council this week discussed what to do about several tax-forfeited properties in town.

It was agreed that the most important property to demolish is the former Schmidtke Nursing Home, which was inspected and is viewed as dangerous.

Other properties may come up for sale at auction but the council would like to ensure that if they are bought as rental properties their owners will improve these sites rather than let them sit empty and deteriorate.

The council will ask the county to help with expenses to demolish the nursing home. The inspector’s report on the property has been sent to county commissioners per their request.

The other properties will be examined later, with the city budget to reflect the cost for demolition, as needed. The council instructed the city clerk to get separate quotes for asbestos removal and demolition when getting bids.

In other business, the council approved changing the time for open public comments from the end of the council meeting to the beginning. Those wishing to speak are asked to limit their comments to three minutes. They can let the clerk know they would like to speak, but notification is not mandatory. Those wishing to speak about regular agenda items should register with the clerk prior to the meeting.

Public comments were then taken.

Discussion about new playground equipment at the park led to questions about the anchoring of the equipment, as well as the council failing to pass a resolution to install it. The council needs to approve any new items on city property, and those need to pass code and be insured.

The council commended the Summer Festival Committee for purchasing the playground equipment, but asked that the council be part of the purchase of any more equipment. The committee and council members agreed the proper channels will be followed in the future.

In another matter, questions about the Fire Association were raised in relation to incident reports filed, if extra money under budget is put into a new equipment fund and if the association has a budget each year that the council can examine. The next meeting of the association is Monday, and the council agreed to attend the meeting to continue discussion. The association includes Tenhassen Township, Lake Belt Township and the city of Ceylon.

The policy for raising chickens in the city was confirmed to a resident as no more than seven chickens, no roosters. The birds must be in a pen, not running loose.

Turning to another matter, the council discussed its concerns about possible expenses related to the Highway 263 project, which will include the main street. Possible new sidewalks and curbs, water, light poles, LED lights, etc., will be needed.

In other business:

o A petition to leave the name “Railroad Street” the same and not change it to “Mondale Avenue” was presented to the council by residents of the street. A suggestion was made to put a plaque on the digital sign noting that Ceylon is the birthplace of Walter Mondale, instead of changing the street name. The council approved the plaque and will look into implementing the suggestion.

o City employees noted the Oct. 15 deadline for residents to pay delinquent taxes or be ineligible for the cold weather utilities shutoff rule.

o The Ceylon Pride recipient for September was Scott Smith. He will receive a $20 credit on his utility bill for keeping his property well maintained.

o The next meeting of the City Council is 6 p.m. Nov. 14.