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Blue Earth set to buy fire truck

BLUE EARTH – Blue Earth City Council has approved a loan and grant from the USDA for the purchase of a new fire truck.

The loan is for $450,000 at 2.375 percent over 20 years. The city will receive a $50,000 grant from the USDA Rural Development Fund.

The city’s share of the purchase of the truck will be $55,000, bringing total funding to $555,000.

Laurie Balata of the USDA, on a telephone conference call with council members, detailed the conditions of the loan and grant. The loan will be paid back in annual installments of $28,530 over the next 20 years. In addition, the city will make monthly payments of $237.75 in order to build up a one-year reserve fund.

In other business, the council:

o Heard an update from city engineer Wes Brown concerning several projects in the city.

The North Sailor Street project from last year is wrapping up this spring, he said. The council authorized a pay estimate of $66,218 to the contractor.

The South Sailor Street Project is well underway with the pavement removed and the new sewer lines expected to begin being installed later this week.

The Leland Parkway Project is also underway, with pavement removed from Main Street to Highway 169, which is phase one of the work.

o Agreed to go along with a new GIS mapping system at a cost of $12,000. It would have all the properties in town, utility lines, etc., available on maps on the GIS website.

o Discussed when to open the swimming pool and fitness center, but no date was set. The council will wait to see what the governor allows.

o Learned the city’s new sales tax has been bringing in between $20,000 to $25,000 per month since it began in October 2019, for a total of $95,538. The money has been designated to go into the city street project fund.

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