On Monday night at the Granite Falls City Council meeting there was a public hearing for the Electric, Water, and Sewer Rate Adjustments. The Electric rate discussion was pushed back to the March 12 council meeting. City Manager Crystal Johnson mentioned how the Sewer and Water program has been running with a negative balance for quite a while. Council member Duwayne Galow added that historically, the city hasn’t raised the rates until it needed to.

Council member Steve Nordaune suggested raising the rates a little higher than the minimum suggested to help reduce the negative balance. Council member Scott Peterson chimed in that he doesn’t mind paying more to not have to deal with water softening. The council agreed that making the move to central softening was a great idea, and other cities are moving toward it. The council voted to increase the base water rate to $7.25 and the base sewer rate to $16.75.

Assistant Chief Mitch Brovold came to the council meeting to discuss purchasing a used police vehicle to replace the SUV that was recently damaged. They are looking for a Ford Explorer so they will be able to transfer equipment over. The council “pre-approved” him to purchase one if he finds it, setting a cap of $16,000. The insurance payout is a little over $18,000 for everything - the car, equipment, and graphics (police logo).

Brovold stuck around for a discussion where several citizens reported concerns about drivers speeding through the intersection of 2nd St. and 6th Ave. Various options were considered, with the council eventually voting to set up a 4-way stop at 2nd St. and 6th Ave, as well as a yield sign for 2nd St. and 7th Ave for southbound traffic.

In other news:

The council looked at bids for painting the east and west water towers. They awarded the contract to Elevation Coating, a company based in St. Cloud. They will work with the company to figure out the details of adding a logo, lettering, design, and paint. They also discussed lighting the tower.

The council approved the EDA to write off active collection of certain accounts receivable. This doesn’t stop the pursuit of the money owed, it’s just a bookkeeping measure to be more accurate when reporting “guaranteed income.”

The council will see a bridge lighting demonstration on March 8.