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Discussion on electrical updates at Keck Park continue

WELCOME — The Welcome City Council met Tuesday evening, June 18. Zac Gerhardt presented a request about two electrical lines at Hansen-Keck Park. He had been asked previously to bring quotes and a better idea of the cost of the lines. He presented a quote for $1,613 for two lines, each would be 100 feet, with two meters and 50 amp each for a permanent upgrade to electrical service at the park. Food trucks for the festival weekend use generators now since there is electrical ready for one truck and there are usually more. He said the festival has grown from $5,000 to $25,000 for their budget. Federated Rural Electric Association (FREA) cannot help like other years. The council discussed the possibilities and one was to have one meter and a multiplier. The council

agreed that they could help with expenses but do partial payment with the Park Board paying some too along with the festival committee. Gerhardt will look into FREA and the festival committee and Park Board will bring back more information at the next meeting on July 16. The electrical update will not be able to be done this summer, but maybe for next year’s festival. He thanked the council for trying to improve and expand the festival to compete with other towns nearby.

Travis Winter, an engineer from Bolton and Menk, presented the feasibility report on street, sewer and water improvement projects. After lengthy discussion including maps and cost estimates for each street improvement (17), the council tabled the decision until they could schedule a work session to discuss just this project and give it their undivided and unhurried attention. They agreed that $10,234,600 was a very large amount for the City to consider especially with taxpayers anticipating a large tax bill for a new school and other expenses. They also agreed that the infrastructure was built in 1966 and needs improvement to bring more residents to Welcome to build houses, etc. They will have a work session and include a financial advisor. There are grants and loans for water like TFA which they used for the new water tower in 2018. They will discuss those at the work session too. They may have to do only a partial list of those improvements on the feasibility list.

In other business:

• The council made a decision to put forfeited property on sale. Some properties have not paid taxes.

• The council also updated/approved the Data Practice policy which is done annually.

• They discussed a proposal from TextMyGov which would be a texting system for system notices

for over $1,000 a year. The council decided they already have a system to notify residents and that proposal was denied.

• Chief of Police, Trevor Yochim, reported that the bike rodeo last Sunday was successful although not as many attended. The part-time officer is working out well and that the check on the clerk candidate was done and the candidate has passed. He recommended hiring her. The council approved hiring her later.

• The new city clerk will be Catherine Arens and she anticipates beginning on June 24. Current city clerk, Deb Hanson, will train the new clerk.

• Martin County West School District mentioned that a back stop was down at the ball field. The council decided that was school business not City business. The water standing near the ball field was from all the rain lately and will take time to recede.

• City employees are keeping strong watch on manholes and water in the sewer and storm sewer. Residents may help by not using as much water and to make sure sump pumps are not discharging into the sewer system.

The council decided to eliminate the meeting on July 2 and to change the starting time for the July 16 meeting to 6:30 p.m. since there will be a longer police commission meeting prior to the regular council meeting.

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