No back-in parking in Winnebago
During last Tuesday’s Winnebago City Council meeting, the idea of adding back-in angle parking spaces to the downtown area was brought up.
Winnebago city engineer Travis Winter cited better visibility towards on-coming traffic as a key benefit of creating back-in angle parking spaces. He also provided a layout of the newly constructed back-in angle parking setup in the downtown St. James area.
After a brief discussion, no motion was made as the idea was quickly shot down by several members of the council. In particular, councilman Scott Robinson expressed safety concerns due to a high population of elderly drivers in Winnebago.
“Just stopping on Main Street is a disaster waiting to happen,” councilman Rick Johnson responded.
Towards the meeting’s conclusion, a brief closed session hearing was held to discuss labor negotiations with Law Enforcement Labor Services (LELS). When the meeting was re-opened to the public, a motion was carried by the council to approve the terms of the negotiation.
The tentative two-year agreement calls for a variety of changes to vacation time, health insurance coverage, clothing allowance, and salary.
Individuals with over five years of service, will receive one extra hour per month of vacation time earned, as well as annual vacation time. Further, employer health insurance contributions will now be $725 per month over the course of the agreement.
Clothing allowance will increase from $500 to $750 per year. When employees look to fulfill Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) license requirements, the city of Winnebago agrees to pay for all required training. The city also agrees to pay license fees, meals, lodging mileage, and all reasonable expenses incurred per city personnel.
Other items from the meeting included:
Bolton and Menk’s proposal for Geographical Information Systems (GIS) was approved by the council.
The total cost of GIS web development combined with GPS collection and utility map development stands at $26,306. Once initiated, the project is expected to take eight weeks to complete.
The council accepted Winnebago resident Bret Osborn’s bid of $575 for the 1972 Chevrolet pumper/tanker fire truck.
A motion was passed to raise the rental rate of the Community Room to $75 per day with an additional $50 deposit fee. These changes will be effective as of Jan. 1, 2018.
Several complaints regarding the lack of order and cleanliness after usage was the impetus for the change. The council also accepted the donation of a new dishwasher for the room.
City administrator Chris Ziegler and deputy city clerk Jessi Sturtz were authorized by the council to attend the Minnesota Clerks and Finance Officers Association Conference in Bloomington from March 20-23 of 2018.
Fiscal Agent Agreements with the Winnebago Area Musical Players, the Winnebago Kids Fund, and the Veteran’s Memorial were all renewed by the council.
Winnebago Police Chief Eric Olson’s request to approve five candidates for part-time police officer positions was granted. The five finalists include Ryan Hillesheim, Brandon Bergemann, Joshua Jedlicka, Adam Kasprowicz and Michael Culhane.
The resignations of Andrew Cartwright and Angie Enger from the Winnebago ambulance crew were accepted.
A motion was authorized to hold an auction for Old City shop property. The auction will be held on Dec. 12 at 6 p.m.
Heather Klassen, who is running for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 23A, also attended the meeting. Her goal was to introduce herself to the community and to learn more about the daily issues affecting citizens of the Winnebago area. Administrator Ziegler was complimentary of her efforts.
“I don’t think we’ve had any candidates attend any of our council meetings, so that’s important to us,” said Ziegler.