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Sherburn council hears updates

SHERBURN — The Sherburn City Council met on Monday, March 1, at the Sherburn City Hall and virtually through Zoom. The annual report of the fire association was given to the council by Sam Meixell through a PowerPoint presentation. The ending balance was down about $4,000 from last year. The fundraising amounts were quite a bit less this year due to the pandemic to $6,797.

Fireman’s dues of $2,718 were mentioned and the purchase of ladders and other equipment came to $2,210. The pension fund was down from stocks going down some, but it is invested conservatively and diversified and no pensions were paid out this year. Pensions may be paid out to those 50-year-olds who have worked for 20 years.

There is a minimum of service for each year. Each fireman contributes $1 for each hour worked to the pension fund. The association hired two members this year and has 25 members which they consider fully staffed. They are always looking for recruits. Mr. Meixell asked the council to approve an increase of pension from $1,700 to $1,800 which was approved by the association members. The City would have to contribute if there were a huge loss so approval is needed.

The council asked about future fundraisings such as the pancake feed and the chicken feed. Meixell reported that they are working on fundraisers and would like to continue those if the COVID protocol will let the City have a summer festival and so forth. The council agreed that all would have to wait and see.

The council discussed the Liquor Store point-of-sale system and agreed that there should be a convenience fee for credit card charges. Some businesses are not allowing patrons to use credit cards at all.

The inventory system was also discussed. There is a new system that could be purchased that would upgrade to Windows 10. The purchase would be $1,000 for set-up and then $250 a month for 24/7 use. They agreed that there should be some sort of inventory system and decided to discuss the system and demonstrate the system for the manager before approving the purchase. The current system is used well by the manager.

The council heard from a lawn care businessman, Brad Tadlock. He is interested in purchasing the property at 201 Front Street, which used to be a bait shop and café. He asked to put one or two shipping containers there to store chemicals and fertilizer etc. for his business. This would be a short-term storage need. In long-term plans, he would like to build a 35×100 foot shed with an offset from the property line of five feet. This would be within the zoning codes for commercial property and would not block a neighbors garage entrance. There are three such shipping containers in the city already at several businesses such as Zach’s Trailers, My Guy property, and the old Montgomery property. The council agreed that it would be within the zoning codes and approved his request suggesting he talk with the neighbors and if he needed help to talk to the Economic Development committee.

The meeting continued with reports from the administration.

Temperance Lake Ridge reported that their occupancy is 83 percent with 1,456 beds. They had an electrical problem but that is now fixed and they are not on generators anymore. The pandemic has lowered their income some.

The school flashing lights project considered for the east and west end of the street by the high school and elementary school was discussed. The cost would be about $28,900 and there is a grant for $7,500 now and REA Roundup money and they are applying for other grants. The administrator asked about using the City’s general savings money to get the project started for spring. He suggested doing the elementary lights first and then at the high school lights since there is more foot traffic by the elementary school than the high school. Council members suggested asking the Fox Lake Conservation Club and Valero for funds. The administrator reported that Valero funds are all connected to COVID projects now.

The street lights being changed to LED diodes was also discussed. The lights that burn out are being changed to LED now. The lights from the school to the post office are done. There was a suggestion that a larger diode with bigger wattage is available through REA and should maybe be used in the downtown area.

A discussion was held about the biking/hiking trail from St. James to Long Lake being connected to the trail from Sherburn in future years.

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