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W’bago backs up librarian

By Staff | Feb 18, 2018

At last Tuesday’s Winnebago City Council meeting, Muir library director Heidi Schutt addressed the council in hopes of gaining official support for the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and Information and Technology Educators of Minnesota (ITEM) platform draft.

According to Schutt, the platform is sorely needed as the Winnebago region is currently receiving the minimum amount of library funding.

“We’re losing money, it would be really nice to see some of that money come back to us,” Schutt said to the council. “We’ve tried lots of different avenues, hopefully, we are starting to break down the wall a little bit.”

The 2018 MLA and ITEM platform draft supports a state plan which would increase funding from $13.57 million to $16.57 million annually to be distributed to all regional public library systems. Additionally, funding would increase from $1.3 million to $2 million annually to help support communication and resource sharing with other Minnesota libraries.

The council decided to support the resolution. Meanwhile, council member Rick Johnson applauded Schutt’s steadfast efforts in trying to acquire additional library funding. “It always takes multiple attempts to get something like this going,” Johnson said. “Nothing crosses their desk and happens in one shot.”

Other items from the meeting included:

A resolution was approved to apply for a 2018 Outdoor Recreation Grant from the Department of Natural Resources. The grant will go towards phase two of the playground project at West City Park.

A motion was carried to submit an application for grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) request for the Dollar General was approved by the council. The request is to ensure the new establishment complies with Winnebago’s zoning code.

A special ordinance to create a new city street was authorized by the council. Dollar General has gifted land to the city of Winnebago to establish Seventh Avenue SW.

The council approved the sale of two used ambulance cots to the Frost Ambulance for a total of $100.

After completing six months of full-time service, the council approved a raise for Winnebago officer Jacob Pettit.

The council passed a motion for deputy city clerk Jessi Sturtz to receive a 5.8 percent salary adjustment.

A resolution was approved to transfer funds from the duplex sale to support the city’s general fund.

The council went into closed session to discuss a complaint against part-time officer Colton Ryg. After the session, a hearing was tentatively set for Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.

The council also authorized city engineer Travis Winter’s preliminary engineering report for the Northwest Area Project.