Andrew J. Volstead laid the foundation for the 18th constitutional amendment known as 'Prohibition' as well as the foundation for legislation that continues to serve as the Magna Carta of the Cooperative Movement...As one of the city's most illustrious citizens, it seems only appropriate that the community should support the foundation of his house.

Andrew J. Volstead laid the foundation for the 18th constitutional amendment known as ‘Prohibition’ as well as the foundation for legislation that continues to serve as the Magna Carta of the Cooperative Movement...As one of the city’s most illustrious citizens, it seems only appropriate that the community should support the foundation of his house.

This past Monday, the Granite Falls City Council approved a low bid of $150,000 from Barn Restoration Specialist Corp., Onamia, to institute repairs to the foundation of the Volstead House, which is now 136 years old.

The Minnesota Association of Cooperatives purchased the building in 1976 and donated it to the city for a museum in 1978. Today it is recognized as a National Landmark.

The Granite Falls Historical Society has been aware of the weakening substructure for some time and in 2011 sought and successfully obtained a $5,500 grant from the Minnesota Historical Society that was used to finance an inspection as well as subsequent recommendations for repairs.

Those inspections were completed by Eugene Dwyer of LSE Engineers, of Le Sueur, and Bob Claybaugh of Claybaugh Preservation Architec-ture, out of Taylor Falls, in August of 2012 and, with the addition of a $25,000 local match, served as the basis for a $154,000 grant proposal to repair the foundation that was awarded to the city by the Minnesota Historical Society in January of 2014. 

Original cost estimates totaled $175,000 for the project, which is expected to begin in the near future. According to council information, the grant money must be expensed by November this year.

In other news:

Following last meeting’s approval for a $750 EDA appropriation to support farmer’s market tents and publicity banners requested by Granite Falls Chamber Director Mary Gillespie, council members approved the plaza space located adjacent the Granite Falls Chamber building as the new site of the Farmer’s Market.

According to Gillespie, existing Farmer’s Market vendors support the move that will bring the market to a more visible location on main street as opposed to the parking lot behind city hall.

•Council re-issued a call for quotes for purchase and delivery of liquid carbon dioxide for the water treatment plant. An initial call for quotes did not receive a response.

•The low bid from Brian’s Tree Service was accepted in the amount of $20.89 per diameter inch for tree trimming and removal as well as $6.19 per diameter inch for additional stump grinding on city-owned property. This compares to last year’s quotes of $15.59 per inch $5.49, respectively.

•Council approved a low bid of $2,500 for the painting of an airport fuel tank issued by George Slack. 90 percent of the cost will be assumed by the State Office of Aeronautics.

•Following the recommendation of the Coalition of Utility Cities, council approved a resolution of support for draft legislation proposing changes to how property used for electric generation is valued for purposes of local taxation.

•Councilman Joe Fagnano was approved to the Pioneerland Library Board.

•An Open House will be held Thursday, May 21 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for the public to get a look at the ad hoc committee developed Memorial Park plan.

•The new lift station located near Rice Park on the east side of the river will begin operation May, 13.