During their meeting this week, the Granite Falls City Council reviewed changes to their delinquent utility policy. In the past, the city maintained a practice of not turning off commercial electricity during winter months. Under the new rules, residents and business have three months to make their payments regardless of weather conditions.

The council said they are making these changes after noticing that some delinquent businesses were taking advantage of the winter loophole. Council members stressed that residents with unpaid utility bills have the opportunity to create a payment plan with the city. Residents with additional questions are encouraged to contact the Public Utilities Department.

In other news:

The Council discussed possible changes to the recycling drop off site near the intersection of 9th Street and 13th Ave. The site is heavily utilized by residents which makes it difficult to keep the area clean. Local residents have repeatedly complained about blowing trash debris. The Council also raised the issue of illegal dumping of non-recyclable items such as electronics, appliances, and tires.

The Yellow Medicine County Solid Waste Department is recommending installing a fence to the south, west, and east of the recycling receptacles, which they hope will help contain debris while allowing easy access for snow removal. The Council also weighed the option of installing motion sensor cameras or possible moving the site altogether. Ultimately, councilmembers agreed to follow-up with this issue at their next meeting once they had more information.

The Council unanimously approved the purchase of a new street sweeper. The final cost comes in at $174,600, which is $11,626 under budget. City Administrator Crystal Johnson informed the Council that this also includes a trade-in reimbursement worth $17,717.