At last weeks Granite Falls City Council meeting on Monday, June 17th, the council started with an update from Shane Zahrt with the Coalition of Utilities Cities, who discussed various Coalition activities.

After the Coalition update the council held a public hearing on the proposed water rate adjustments. There were no citizens who attended the public hearing and after a brief discussion the hearing was closed. The council approved the two-stepped rate increase in the water rates. The 2019 availability charge increase for residential properties is from $7.25 to $12.00, and the availability charge increase for commercial properties is from $9.00 to $15.00. This increase will become effective with utility bills due August 15, 2019. In 2020 the availability charge increase for residential properties will go from $12.00 to $17.00, and commercial properties will go from $15.00 to $23.00. This increase will become effective with utility bills due February 15, 2020.

The council discussed and approved the Bluenose Gopher Public House proposal to use a portion of the parking lot for Sorlien Park, that is adjacent to the business, for Volstead Days on June 28th and 29th, and again during the popcorn stand 100 year anniversary celebration on August 1st. The council also approved the closure of 7th Avenue next to the popcorn stand down to the floodwall for Volstead Day on June 28th.

EDA Director Cathy Anderson discussed the EDA and HRA levy proposals with council. It was recommended by the EDA Board that the council adopt both levy proposals. The council approved moving forward with an EDA Levy with taxes payable 2020. Council also voted to approve the EDA moving forward with an HRA Levy with taxes payable 2020. The council called for a public hearing on July 1st to receive input regarding the proposed EDA and HRA Levies.

The council discussed the Small Cities Development Grant Program, and pursuant to the Small Cities Development Grant Program, DEED requires full disclosure of any conflicts of interest for grant recipients. Following review of the two letters received from City Attorney Greg Holmstrom, the council moved forward approving the letters as written.

The council accepted two bids for the purchase, installation, and testing of new feeders at the Bush Park Substation. One from Krech Ojard for engineering and relay coordination for $10,100, and one from Northern Testing Services for installation and testing for $27,818. The council moved forward accepting the proposal received from Stantec in an amount not to exceed $14,000 to evaluate issues and develop recommendations for future upgrades to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In Other News:

•The council approved the use of Lende Plaza on June 29th for a “Prohibited Acts” event and the council approved a temporary liquor licenses for the Volstead House for beer sampling.

•EDA Director Cathy Anderson gave an EDA Board report.

•The Council approved the use of Sorlien Park by the Chamber of Commerce to hold a Halloween Trunk or Treat on October 31st.

•The council voted to begin requesting proposals for architectural services for Phase III Improvements to Memorial Park.

•Following review of a draft agreement between the city and Prairie Five Rides, it was the consensus of council to table this matter to clarify certain items.

•Staff updated council concerning construction of Barber Circle and Daniels Drive.

•Mayor Dave Smiglewski updated council regarding its request to re-evaluate placing a left turn lane on Highway 23 at the entrance to the Airport.