Granite Falls Council prepares for summer fun

Jess Gorman
Granite Falls Advocate Tribune

Granite Falls City Council came together Monday evening May 17 as part of their regular schedule. Talk on the agenda ran the spectrum of campground fees, bee permits, more liquor licensing and a dog park under consideration.  

As discussed and approved back in March of 2018, increasing the Memorial Park camping fees was back on the to do list for the city Monday night. The increase was to occur when phase II improvements were complete as estimated at the time of discussion, in 2019 or 2020. Now with phase II completed, the council needed to effect a resolution to make the previously discussed changes effective as of June 1. That resolution was passed MOnday evening and prices will increase on camping fees from $12.00 to $15.00 and tent camping from $9.00 to $12.00.

 The Planning Commission met in early May and their report covered general business with some interesting highlights such as bees. A beekeeping permit was submitted by David Bollman for address 531 Miller Street. The bees would be located behind the backside of the building. Per the process, letters will be sent 150ft and those sent a letter will have 10 days to respond. If there are no concerns, staff will process the permit. A map of the proposed location is enclosed.

An appointment is under consideration with an application of interest received from Daphne Timm to join the KCC board. Formal action on the application will be taken at the June 7 council meeting. 

A temporary liquor license for the Makers on the Minnesota Market events was approved. There are four events scheduled total starting in June. Council also approved a gambling license request for the YME High Kick Booster Club/Lyons. In other approvals, a Dutch Elm bid from Northbound Tree Service & Contracting out of Canby MN  was approved for stump grinding. 

A new speed limit sign request was approved Monday via resolution. Council considered and approved the request of a citizen familiar with a 6th street location where speeding had become an issue of concern. Council heard statements and considered installing a speed limit sign in the alley located in front of the area where currently no speed limit signs are posted. Police Chief Brian Struffert was also aware of the concern. The PD plans to patrol the area more frequently.

Council approved the proposal of American Welding & Gas for the purchase and delivery of liquid carbon dioxide for the Water Treatment Plant in the amount of $160 per ton plus $5.00 delivery Hazmat Charge. The liquid CO2 is used to control the Ph content of the water. The previous contract ends May 20, 2021. Council approved the renewal quote from the company in the amount of $200 per ton plus $5.00 delivery hazmat charge.Council was advised, the cost increase was due to shortages as a result of COVID-19. 

Due to the completion of the Barber Circle/Daniels Drive construction project, auditors requested council to close the expense fund 445 and transfer any remaining funds to the Barber Circle/Daniels Drive Debt Fund 333 which was approved by the elected officials. There will be an estimated transfer of $48k to the debt fund. In other bookkeeping matters, to correct a tax settlement recording error from 2016, the auditors requested a transfer from the EDA TIF Fund 221 of $35,285 to the General Fund which was approved. In 2016, excess TIF funds were returned to the City. The cash was errantly recorded in the TIF Fund. Excess TIF funds returned to the city are considered general tax revenue and should correctly be recorded in the General Fund. This error was discovered during a TIF audit performed late in 2020. The accounting correction will be a part of the 2020 audit and should be recorded to the General Fund. The error was discovered during a TIF audit performed late in 2020. The bookkeeping correction will be a part of the 2020 audit.. 

Information was given and discussed regarding the 221 Baldwin asbestos removal. 9x9 floor tile located in the entryway as well as window glazing will need to be removed prior to demolition of the property. A removal quote from VCI (Environmental Contracting Services) in the amount of $2,360.00 was presented to council and approved. 

Council reviewed Building Inspector’s Darin Haslip’s report on the home located at 846 7th Street which if not corrected may be considered a public nuisance. A letter is being sent to the property owner. The owner will have 30 days to submit a building permit and timetable for completion of repairs. Once 30 days have passed, the building inspector may declare the property a public nuisance. If the City Council is left with the decision to pass a resolution to declare the property a public nuisance, the City Attorney’s Office will file an Order to Remove the Public Nuisance Building with the District Court.

Members of the “dog park committee” presented information to council Monday night. The committee sought feedback from council on the proposed dog park space being located behind the municipal liquor store where a current basketball court and green space is located. The Park Board and monday night’s city council, all approved this site as the primary location option for a dog park. Next steps will include the dog park committee seeking cost estimates and fundraising for expenses such as fencing, waste stations, and other items. For the best and correct fence placement, a site survey will be completed.

The regular meeting session adjourned so the elected members could go into a closed session to discuss active litigation.