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W’bago headed on the upswing, council says

By Staff | Sep 16, 2018

Winnebago’s future is looking brighter.

With a new dog park, new playground equipment on its way, more growth in Genesis Classical Academy’s classes, and plenty of new roads being worked on, the entire Winnebago City Council agrees: “there’s a lot of good things going on.”

In their council reports at last Tuesday’s meeting, councilwoman Jean Anderson made a special note to the public about how many good things are not only happening, but are in the works for the future of Winnebago as well.

“This town is really starting to look like a community again, not just a pass-through town,” she said. “Lots of growth happening, young folks getting involved. It’s very exciting and great for the community.”

Councilman Paul Eisenmenger could not have agreed more. In his report to the council, he stated the final fencing is being worked on as well as signage for the city’s new dog park, which has already been used by the community. He also reported from the library board.

“I would just like to send a shout out to the Friends of the Muir Library,” said Eisenmenger. “This summer, the Friends of the library provided $1,200 of the $1,400 needed for this summer’s reading program. It’s pretty cool that they did that and I just want to personally thank them for that.”

Councilman Scott Robertson commended the Winnebago Police chief, Eric Olson, for his efforts to continue training and education on getting a K-9 unit in the city of Winnebago. Earlier on in the meeting, Olson requested dollars for a training session on K-9 unit education, which the council approved.

“We made a commitment to this town and we’ve got to keep after this effort. I’m glad you found a place to do more learning with that endeavor. I think it’s important and becoming more important for this town, if you read the papers,” said Robertson.

As for Rick Johnson, he, too, had optimism for the growth in the city and wanted to make sure the community was as well-informed about roadwork and alternative routes as possible.

“It’s great to see the progress being made on 169, things look really good so far,” said Johnson. “I do think we need to step up our communication efforts. Everything the city can do to get information out to the people to help appease the citizens during this construction phase. I would like to see that stepped up. What was completed south of town looks very nice and it certainly will be nice when it’s finished.”

The council also heard from Randy Olson of American Legion Post 82, who stated he has been working with a number of community members and governmental bodies, including Rep. Bob Gunther, on transforming the Winnebago School into an assisted living facility for veterans. More details on this project will be in future issues of the Faribault County Register.

In their meeting, the Winnebago City Council went through a number of business items, including approving phase two of the city’s playground purchase. Deputy City Clerk Jessie Sturtz stated it would take approximately 12 weeks to get the equipment moved to Winnebago.

“The plan is to store the equipment in the winter, and then we would start in spring,” she said.

As the council went over the financials, they approved to purchase the equipment at the cost of $24,021.19, with construction of the park beginning as early as this coming spring.

Winnebago’s council members also approved tree trimming services with Pfeffer Tree Service, approved a request from Ashley Bleess to attend the Minnesota Rural Water Association Conference, as well as hiring another part-time police officer for the city.

In a public hearing, Randy Olson was present while the council addressed his property which has a number of vehicles and items on his property that the city deemed a nuissance.

The council listened to Olson’s concerns, while Olson understood the concerns of the city. The two parties came to an agreement that Olson would remove any vehicles off the property that did not work or did not have proper license and insurance on them. He also guaranteed to the council that the items, outlined in Resolution 659, of his property would be cleaned up within 30 days.

Finally, the council set their preliminary tax levy at an estimated $649,122 which is an increase of 8.77 percent. The council also set their Truth in Taxation meeting for Dec. 11.

The next regular Winnebago City Council meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 9.