Blue Earth gives its OK to deer hunt

BLUE EARTH — The Blue Earth City Council voted Monday to approve a citywide deer hunt this fall.

City administrator Tim Ibisch reminded council members they had voted last year to fund a possible deer hunt inside city limits, but had not formally approved having one.

“Now is the time to decide, as we need to let the [Department of Natural Resources] know by early May if we plan to have one this fall,” he said.

Ibisch also informed the council that police officer Tharen Haugh has been training to be the person in charge of the hunt.

“He has been training with the people in charge of the hunt in New Ulm also,” Ibisch said. “And city staff has identified possible sites for hunters.”

The council voted unanimously to hold a deer hunt, in conjunction with working with the DNR on the details of the bow-and-arrow hunt.

“I think we need to try this,” said Councilman John Huisman, who made the motion to proceed. “We have the money in the budget to fund it, and we have a plan in place to do it.”

Other council members echoed those comments, adding that even if only a few deer were harvested, the city at least gave it a try. And the future of having more hunts can be discussed later.

In other business, the council hired a new municipal liquor store manager for Blue Earth Wine and Spirits.

There were 16 applications, and those were narrowed down to five finalists. Three of the finalists were then interviewed a second time and the three were scored by a personnel committee.

The final choice was John Oswald, currently the owner of Oswald’s Brewery in downtown Blue Earth. He will begin April 29 and will train in May with retiring manager Craig Wells.

In other business, the council:

o Passed a resolution approving an agreement between the city and Blue Earth Light and Water that will increase the fee the city pays for sending out utility bills, and having the utility take over the cost of street lights in the city.

o Considered a proposed new city policy dealing with small cell wireless towers being placed in the city. No action was taken on the matter.