The City of Clarkfield is making one last push to reach towards important funding for an infrastructure overhaul project.

The City of Clarkfield is making one last push to reach towards important funding for an infrastructure overhaul project.

Residents of Clarkfield were recently mailed surveys asking them to anonymously state their income. These surveys were sent out with the intent to collect data on the city that expressed the income levels of the city. The hope is that by collecting these surveys, the city of Clarkfield will be able to qualify to apply for a $600,000 grant from the RDC (Rural Development Commission).

To qualify for the grant, it is critical that the city of Clarkfield must be able to demonstrate to the RDC that there is a significant amount of low to moderate income households within the city limits. If the city of Clarkfield was the receive the grant of $600,000, the funding would be used to reduce the loans needed by the city for the project, thereby reducing the project’s impact on Clarkfield taxpayers.

The deadline, which is quickly approaching, for the city to turn these surveys in to the RDC is this Friday, April 22 and the city needs to have an 80% return rate  on the surveys from the community in order to apply for the funding. Currently, not enough surveys have been turned in by citizens.

In an attempt to search for more unanswered surveys, the Public Works Department had recently gone door to door to every residence searching for surveys during the day time, which proved fruitful with the team bringing in 65 more surveys. However, according to City Administrator Becca Schrupp, the city is about 75 surveys short from its 80% goal. The plan was to have another attempt at rounding up the surveys take place during the evening hours this week, when most working households would be home.

Citizens have expressed concerns at various council meetings regarding if the surveys are indeed private. Concerns have been raised about that a multi-digit number that is written on the top of the surveys, leading to unfounded fears that the surveys were able to be tracked. However, the council reassured the public that the numbers are for organizational purposes only and are not linked to tax-payer identities. The surveys are 100% anonymous and are only being used to collect data for the city to apply for the grant.

In other news
• The city approved a resolution accepting a large donation from F&M Bank toward the Clarkfield Fire Department. The bank donated $20,000 for the Fire Department to use toward the purchase of turn out gear. The unanimously accepted motion was made by council member Neil Linscheid and was seconded by Erin Crosby.

• In addition, the city council gave a unanimous approval to the purchase of a piece of equipment for the ambulance called a ‘Power-PRO XT’. The Power-PRO XT is an automated patient cot that can be used to easily transfer patients through the use of a battery powered hydraulic system. The specialized cot is designed to reduce the risk of back strain in emergency workers by providing an automated means for loading and transferring patients in an ambulance. According to the product’s website, the cot has a 700 lb. weight limit, with a 500 lb. unassisted lift capacity. The total cost of the equipment is $47,159.15, which includes a seven year service plan and installation. Funding for the equipment is being sourced from a donation of $10,000 by F&M Bank to the squad as well as from the Ambulance Crew’s funds.

• Looking for a guide for the future, the City of Clarkfield adopted a document titled ‘City Council Handbook and Code of Conduct.’ The document lists a variety of policies and procedures for the council to utilize in governing the city.