Scott Tedrick came to the Granite Falls city council meeting on Monday evening to invite the city to join the Yellowstone Trail Alliance of Western Minnesota. The organization, started in January, focusing on the cities from Granite Falls east to Buffalo Lake along Highway 212. Their goal is uniting arts, cultural, and historical assets between the cities as a form of rural revitalization. Several Renville County cities have joined in the joint promotion effort. Tedrick also shared that the city of Olivia is committing $100,000 to the Main Street Program in an attempt to turn around recent store closings, including losing two pharmacies and a soon to close a hardware store.

The Yellowstone trail was the first transcontinental highway through the upper states. The full trail runs from Plymouth, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington.

Tedrick mentioned the Granite Falls has a specific connection to the trail in addition to geography. Michael J. Downing was a champion for the trail, and resided in Granite Falls. The council agreed to join for the $250 annual membership fee.

Jean Garbarini from consulting landscape architects Damon Farber Associates, updated the council on the ongoing Memorial Park improvement project. The shelter house concrete overhang has been repaired and is currently being re-roofed. There was some confusion with getting a plumbing permit for the new restroom/camper shower building which held up some work for the new relocated facility. Phase 2 will be getting underway this week with the removal of invasive species, including buckthorn and poison ivy. The council approved three possible additions to the shelter house upgrades which could total just under $12,000, contingent on unused grant funds being available for the Phase 1 work at the park.

In other news:

The council adopted a policy for the soon to be activated foot bridge lighting. The policy is based on an example from the city of Minneapolis and includes a calendar of events and holidays that may feature certain colors or combinations. Council member Scott Peterson asked what the “default” color will be, and suggested a slow rotation if possible.

The council approved concrete work for the Electrical Department for a pad for transformers and electrical supplies at the department’s new location in Highland Park. The contract was awarded to Soine construction for $9,175. The other bid came from L.A. Construction in the amount of $13,650.

The council also discussed potential acoustical improvement designs for the council chambers. The main idea is to install sound absorbing panels on the back wall to reduce the sound echo.

The Granite Falls Public Library received a donation of $22,500 from the Curt and Jeanette Olson estate. City Manager Crystal Johnson will check if there are any restrictions on the funds, but if not the money will likely be set aside for roof repairs to the library building.

City Manager Johnson reported that the KCC has received the parts needed for the waterslide, and will be following up with the contractor to stay on top of getting it installed sometime in October.