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It’s official; new leader in W’bago

By Staff | Jul 14, 2019

New Winnebago city administrator Jacob Skluzacek, left, is welcomed to town by Winnebago. Mayor Jeremiah Schutt.

It is official. The city of Winnebago filled the position of city administrator last Tuesday evening, July 9, when they approved a contract with Jacob Skluzacek.

The City Council was pleased the process of hiring a new city administrator was finally completed.

Mayor Jeremiah Schutt and the council members welcomed Skluzacek to Winnebago and stated their excitement for him as he begins the job.

When asked when he was going to start the job, Skluzacek said, “How about tomorrow.”

Skluzacek, a native of Lonsdale, will begin work immediately as he begins to familiarize himself with the position and the task of taking over the administrator duties.

He is a graduate of Winona State University and did his internship for the city of Winona.

The terms of his employment call for an annual salary of $52,000. His health insurance coverage will be consistent with all non-union city employees.

Although hiring a new city administrator was the highlight of the meeting, the council had many other items of business to take care of.

A report from the fire department informed the council Syngenta Seeds, of Amboy, has purchased a grain rescue tube for the department at a cost of just under $3,400. The fire department also received donations from CFS for $5,000, the Winnebago American Legion for $1,000, Landus for $750 and Casey’s for $250.

The fire department is also using funds they have raised to purchase a commercial fire gear extractor (washing machine) to handle their gear. According to statistics, firemen have much higher cancer rates than others in the public sector due to their exposure to hazardous substances and chemicals. This new machine helps eliminate contamination which gets in the gear.

The council next considered a request from Heidi Schutt, the Muir Library director, to purchase a BEAM Floor System, which is an interactive projection system, from EyeClick, Inc.

The projector would be installed in the ceiling of the meeting room of the library. It would be used for educational games for kids from PreK to teenagers.

“It will be a unique technology to our area and I believe it will be a great alternative to purchasing iPads or other tablets. It encourages kids to be active and participate on a team. It helps with motor skills as well as literacy and numeracy skills. It is just plain fun and different from other technology kids have access to,” according to a written report by Schutt.

After learning donations would cover about 50 percent of the total cost, the council gave approval for the purchase of the system.

Summer street maintenance was the next item on the agenda and the council approved three bids for different projects.

First, the council approved a bid of $10,430 from Bargen Inc. for crack sealing.

Next, a motion was passed to have Pearson Bros. do seal-coating at a cost of $29,697.

Finally, Ulland Bros. was approved to do overlays. The bid was $54,560.

The council also authorized the payment of estimate No. 3 on the NW street project in the amount of $244,799.61.

From outside projects, the council turned to handling some indoor maintenance issues.

A bid from Ron’s Plumbing, HVAC and Electric, in the amount of $1,867, was approved to install two new sensor operated hand dryers in the City Hall bathrooms.

The council then discussed problems with the phones at the police department. The answering machine does not always work and when it does, the messages can be hard to understand. It was noted the current system was quite old.

Police Chief Eric Olson had contacted Bevcomm and received a quote to update all the phones in City Hall. After reviewing the bids, the council elected to go with the option of renting the phone equipment. The cost will be a one-time installation fee of $300 and a monthly rental fee of $99 for a total of 10 phones plus a base unit.

As required by Minnesota Statute, the council also passed a resolution to accept donations. They included $645 from the Lois Mauris Memorial to the Winnebago Area Ambulance Service, $1,000 from the American Legion to the Winnebago Fire Department, $450 from Prescott Township to the Winnebago Area Ambulance Service and $300 from various residents to the Winnebago Pool fund for upgrades to the pool.