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Visit to the new garage

By Staff | Feb 24, 2019

Equipment sits inside the new public works garage. The facility allows for easier handling of large machinery and makes it easier to perform repairs and maintenance inside of the building.

A tour of the new public works garage was on the agenda for the Blue Earth City Council work session last Tuesday, Feb. 19, prior to their regular meeting. Jamison Holland, the public works director, was on hand to guide the council members on the tour and explain some of the features of the new building.

Wider overhead doors allow employees to move plows into the building for maintenance without the need to remove the wing blade first. Besides saving time, it is safer for the workers and easier to perform repairs when the equipment is inside the building and the workers do not have to battle the elements during poor weather, according to Holland.

Trucks and graders can also be moved inside to melt the snow off the machinery to prepare for the next shift of work. The building also has a “wash” bay where salt and sand is cleaned off the equipment to increase its longevity, added Holland.

The council then moved back to City Hall and heard a report on some gear improvements in the Blue Earth Fire Department.

Roger Davis and Jeff Eckles of the fire department were on hand to give a demonstration of new MSA Air Packs, which were recently purchased by the fire department. The new packs, which weigh 28 pounds, are seven pounds lighter than the old 35-pound packs. The new packs are more comfortable with better ergonomics, more streamlined, better balanced and are more configurable. The cost of each new pack is $7,300.

Cindy Lyon, the Director of the Chamber of Commerce, gave an updated budget report to the council. Lyon informed the council Giant Days will be held this summer on July 12-13. The Giant turns 40 years old this year and a number of special events are being planned in honor of his birthday.

The council passed a resolution to seek funding through the Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP). The LRIP is administered by the Minnesota Department of Transportation for street improvements. The funds would be used for reconstructing Rice Street and 17th Street East.

In other business:

The council approved a motion allowing the Blue Earth Area Baseball Youth Baseball Association to sell tickets for a baseball raffle.

A motion allowing the Chamber of Commerce to hold a raffle at their Chamber Soup and Tasting Event to be held on March 23 was approved.

The council heard a report on the possible expansion to the Fitness Center. Plans are in the early stages. An architect has been authorized to prepare a preliminary plan.