One would think that a major award given to a city for spending millions of dollars on its infrastructure would only happen in major metropolitan areas.
The small town of Elmore, population 663, recently received not one but two awards for their major improvements to the town.
One was from the American Association of Engineering Consultants. The other came from the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers.
Both awards were for the large sewer/water/street project recently completed in Elmore. The awards had been presented to Bolton and Menk Engineering and the city.
The projects included replacing the city's water tower, storm sewer system and the addition of a new 8-acre sewage lagoon.
Also included were new water mains and residential water meters.
The total cost of the all the portions of the project were $9.21 million. The city's share of the cost was $2.9 million, after it had received several grants from various state and federal agencies.
Wes Brown, Elmore city engineer, said the awards were a fairly significant honor.
"The first award was one of only 19 presented," Brown says. "The other was one of only 11 given out."
City clerk Dianne Nowak says the projects were an interesting and challenging endeavor both for city staff and for the residents.
"But, they were much needed and the city was very lucky to receive the funding that we did," she says. "Working with Bolton and Menk was hectic at times, but they were very helpful and easy to work with."
Brown presented the two awards to Mayor Bill Hurd and the City Council at their regular monthly meeting held last Monday night.
Also at the meeting, the council:
Awarded the bid for mowing both the city property and the area around the sewage lagoons to Schrader Enterprises of Wells. The bid was $5,548 for the city property and $245 per time for the lagoons.
There were two other bids that had been received.
Authorized the purchase of some new equipment for the Elmore First Responders.
Voted to pay for five additional porta potty units at this summer's Elmore Sesquicentennial celebration and All-School Reunion.
Answered questions concerning dogs running loose around town, including a dog biting incident on Saturday night.
"Can we ban having pit bulls in town?" one resident asked.
City clerk Nowak said it is not legal to ban ownership of one particular breed of dog.
"We have an ordinance that concerns loose dogs and dangerous dogs," she says. "I can give you a copy of it."
Other dog concerns included enforcement of the ordinance and what happens to dogs that are picked up.
There is only so much the city can do, the council was told. Citizens can call in complaints, however, and they will be investigated.