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Time to remodel

By Staff | Oct 13, 2013

The Winnebago City Council is trying to tie up some loose ends before the end of the year.

One of those items is scheduling some much needed maintenence work on the municipal building.

“This building is 22 years old and it’s showing some wear,”?city administrator Chris Ziegler says.

Ziegler and individuals from the public works department worked together to establish the three most critical repairs.

“The three we decided were most crucial were the roof, siding and gutters on the building,” Ziegler explains.

He obtained quotes from several contractors to work on the project and presented them to the council.

Most contractors were out of Mankato, such as Schwickerts who gave a quote of $17,980 for all three portions of the project.

“The utility committee met and recommends that we go with the bid from Schwickerts,” Ziegler says.

The council passed a motion to accept that bid.

“They should be able to start the roof this week or next and get the siding done later this month,”? Ziegler adds.

Other needs were mentioned, including door replacements, landscaping and sidewalk repair.

“We need to look into repairing the doors on the fire and ambulance garages,”?mayor Jeremiah Schutt says. “I’ve been hearing people mention that a lot.”

Ziegler acknowledged the need and says it can be factored into the budget and be done in the near future.

The council also discussed increasing the retirement benefits for the fire department.

Currently, the retirement is set at $800 a year. However, the Fire Department Relief Association voted to increase the benefits to $900 a year at their last meeting.

“The city council has to approve any changes the association makes to the benefit level,”?Ziegler explains.

It was last increased at the beginning of 2011 from $725 to $800. However, after the association’s yearly audit, it found that it’s funding was at 143.5 percent.

“Are our benefits in line with other similar departments in the area?” council member Scott Robertson asks.

Fire Chief Jesse Haugh stated they are actually below what most are.

“We’re on the low end, but the guys are okay with that,” he says.

The council approved the increase.

In other business;

the council approved the final payment of $61,590.81 to the contractor on the First Avenue SE project.

“That project was overall a really good project,” Ziegler says. “We’ve had a lot of good comments from the public.”

The council approved the early retirement incentive for the police officers, which was discussed at last month’s council meeting.

Ziegler updated the council on the budget process and says he still plans to get the levy increase down to zero percent.