The Clarkfield City Council received another update on the derelict old high school building currently sitting abandoned in downtown Clarkfield. City Administrator Amanda Luepke informed the Council that the project was not selected in the recently passed state bonding bill. Another legislative effort pushed by State Senator Gary Dahms (R) also died in committee.

Since the next bonding cycle won’t happen until 2020, the task force is now facing a narrowed range of options for what to do next. Luepke said that the group explored the option of having city and county crews demolish part of the building. She said that a concern with this approach was the length of time and the need to contract for portions of the project anyway.

Moving forward, the task force will approach the project in small portions, starting with putting together an RFP for a construction management firm. According to Luepke, the selected applicant will “coordinate the bidding process to find a contractor willing and able to do the demo at a cost acceptable to both the count and the city.” All costs would be split evenly between Clarkfield and Yellow Medicine, and the task force would be able to halt the project if the first round of bidding is too costly.

The task force will eventually submit a memorandum of understanding to the council and the County Board of Commissioners for final approval. The task force also re-affirmed the current goal of preserving the west gym for future use as a community space open to the public.

In other news:

Luepke informed the Council that Clarkfield had received $1,107,430 from the 2018 Minnesota Small Cities Grant. The money will be used to help finance the infrastructure plan currently under consideration by the city.

Care Center Executive Director Shari McNamara updated the Council on recent financial numbers from the facility. She reported losses for the month of May, but added that the Care Center earned $68,891 year to date. May’s case mix score was .93, bringing the year to date score to .90.

Other changes at the Care Center included consolidating the Nurse Manager and MDS Coordinator positions and expense management for nurse pooling.

The Council also received an update regarding improvements to city parks. Chad and Emily Bruflat donated a volleyball net at North Park, which was installed by city staff in time for Clarkfield Cardinal Days. The parks committee also discussed possibly removing the golf course from North Park because of the fact that it is underutilized. They recommended replacing it with a large putting green or an upgraded horseshoe pit.

The Council unanimously approved the appointment of eight election judges. The selected judges are Amanda Luepke, Mariah Skjefte, Dave Rupp, Zach Hendrickson, Sue Fritz, Linda Stuart, Enola Rolla, and Melissa Hedman. The judges will preside over the August 14 state primary and the November 6 general election.

Luepke met with Dex Holthaus to discuss installing a sound system for the council meeting room. They received a quote in the amount of $4,087.97 which will be presented to the budget committee for a recommendation to the Council.

The Council also voted to accepted several donations. The Clarkfield Lions donated $500 for swimming lessons, $1,000 for a new electric sign, $1,057.50 for summer recreation t-shirts, and $1,000 for the daycare fund. There was also a donation from the Southwest Initiative Foundation for the amount of $4,200 for new curriculum for the Tiny Sprouts Daycare.