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Council considers partnership

By Staff | Jun 22, 2014

About a dozen senior citizens attended the Blue Earth City Council meeting last Monday to find out first hand what the plans were for the Senior Center.

What they learned was the City Council plans to continue exploring the possibility of partnering with Interfaith Caregivers of Faribault County to run the center.

Senior Center board chairman Marty Cassem told the council there was a concern among the seniors who use the facility that it could close.

Councilman Glenn Gaylord responded that the idea of closing the center has never been discussed at a council meeting.

“I don’t know where the idea we are going to close it came from,” he says. “But I want to make it very clear that nobody has ever talked about closing it up.”

After giving a brief history of the center, Cassem said the board was not in favor of another entity of Blue Earth taking over the center.

“It would not be a very good idea,” he says. “We have done a lot of work to start it and maintain it.”

However, Councilman John Huisman said he had talked to Interfaith Caregivers and they were open to the idea of working with the city on managing the facility.

The council decided to have a meeting between Huisman, mayor Rick Scholtes and Interfaith Caregivers director Dan Woodring to explore the possibility.

“When we have this meeting, it will be open to the public and any of you are welcome to attend,” Mayor Scholtes says. “The meeting will be posted.”

In other business at last Monday’s meeting, the council:

Heard a proposal from Billeye Rabbe concerning curbside recycling pickup from a company called Hometown Sanitation.

The charge would be $41 per household in the city and the fee would be tacked onto the property taxes.

Rabbe, the coordinator of the Faribault and Martin counties Solid Waste office, says the program would be run through the county.

Residents would receive new, larger 65-gallon containers.

The council did not take action on the matter at this time.

Discussed raising their wages as council members.

After discussing how the salaries had not been increased in six years, the council agreed on an increase for councilmen from the current $225 per month to $300, and an increase in the mayor’s salary from $300 per month to $400.

The increase would still need to be voted on later as a new ordinance. It would not take effect until next year.

Approved a new ordinance dealing with where tattoo parlors would be allowed to be located in the city.

Approved changes to the city’s assessment policy.

Postponed having the annual audit report, due to the storm, which ended the meeting once the power went out.

Heard a request from Public Works Department supervisor Jamison Holland for additional funds for a new handicapped accessible parking space in the intersection of Main and Sixth streets.

The cost of the space will top $6,000, Holland says.

The council decided to hold off on the project until they can find out whether the parking space would be part of the project when Main Street is redone in 2015.

The council set two other meetings in the next week.

The first was set for Thursday, June 19 for the purpose of opening bids on the for construction at the new North Industrial Park, as well as a review of the 2013 audit.

The second meeting is a special meeting set for Monday, June 23, at 4:30 p.m. for the express purpose of discussion on the procedure for hiring a new city administrator, and a closed session for an update on the Chad Bonin case and also a land purchase.