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The first Clarkfield City Council meeting brought other firsts along with it, including the first meeting for the new City Administrator, Rebecca Schrupp (see story on page 1A.)
First meetings always bring with special designations that need to be established every January, including setting the schedule, choosing the City Attorney, City Auditor and Official City Newspaper of Record, which remained Oyen Torvik, Dana Cole and the Advocate Tribune like before.
However, they were not the only cosmetic details discussed at the Tuesday night meeting – the water tower design and background colors for the new water tower project were approved by the council.
Of the four designs placed in the Friendship Cafe to be voted upon, the design that included a Cardinal won by an overwhelming majority, so much so that no official tally was produced, as the votes visually were outnumbered and sprawling off the voting sheet.
“We would have to have our own cardinal designed,” said Public Works Director Jeff Lobdell, explaining that the cardinal that was used in the voting image was the copyrighted mascot image of the St. Louis Cardinals.
The council officially approved the design, given that a local artist would need to provide a new cardinal, also with the addendum that the cardinal cannot cost more than $2000 to paint onto the water tower.

In other news
• The Boyd Wastewater contract was approved and signed by Boyd, ending a long stalemate that lasted months, with council members sending proposals back and forth.
Despite the increased heat in proceedings in December, including a final proposal from Clarkfield, the signing went off without an issue.
“I kind of expected a little fight,” said Mayor Gene Kockelman.
The council also voted to keep the water/sewer rates the same for 2014.
• The Homecare system passed their first survey from the State of Minnesota, allowing the city to continue to have it, after a possibility of needing to outsource to another program due to deficiencies discovered several months ago.
“We got a clean bill – we’re good,” Kockelman said, adding that there were still hurdles in the future to improve the program.