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W’bago looks at new long-term plan

By Staff | Feb 16, 2020

Jean McGann, left, presents a proposal for developing a 5-year plan to Calvin Howard, right, and the rest of the Winnebago City Council last Tuesday.

“This will provide us with a roadmap to the future,” council member Jean Anderson said, referring to a long-term plan proposal for the city of Winnebago which was brought before the City Council at their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

The proposal, which consists of a long-term plan which looks out five years, a debt study and a utility rate study, was presented to the council by Jean McGann.

McGann is a certified public accountant representing the firm of Abdo, Eich and Meyers, LLP., also know as AEM Financial Solutions.

“As a council you know there are things that need to be done,” McGann stated. “This will help you know when you should do them.”

In their proposal, AEM touts their 50-plus years of experience providing services to Minnesota municipalities and their ability to make recommendations for financial management.

“I think it is a good idea; we have a lot of moving parts to deal with,” council member Calvin Howard remarked.

It was discussed among council members that the loss of Corn Plus means it is a good time to look at a long-range plan.

“Understand the long-term plan will be a living, breathing document,” McGann added. “It will need to be updated from time to time.”

Council members debated whether they should vote on this now or wait one month to make a decision.

“If we are going to do this, I think the sooner the better,” Anderson offered.

The other council members agreed and a motion to accept the proposal at a cost of $23,000 was passed unanimously by the members present. One councilman, Rick Johnson, was unable to attend the meeting.

In other financial matters, the council voted to pay estimate No. 10 for the NW Street and Utility Improvement Project, in the amount of $173,712.58, to Holtmeier Construction.

The council also voted to replace four garage door openers on the fire department garage doors at a cost of $3,800.

Two bids for work to be done in the back room of Muir Library to deal with some moisture issues were considered by the council. The bid by Owen Construction, Eastvold Construction and Howe Electric for $19,563 was approved. The other bid was from Reichel Insulation out of Mankato and was for $19,916.95.

Work to be done includes tearing out existing drywall, spray foaming the walls and installing new drywall.

A request for a donation to the Blue Earth Area Post Prom Party was considered. The council voted to make a donation of $500 which is consistent with what they have done for many years.

The council also approved eight conditional use permits (CUPs) at their meeting.

The CUPs were approved for Owen Construction at 400 South Main St. for stockpiling of gravel and dirt; Faribault County Public Works at 841 S. Main St. for stockpiling and/or storing salt, sand, gravel and other raw materials; Erosion Control Plus at 409 Fourth Ave. SE, 534 S. Main St. and 120 Sixth Ave. SE for storage facilities for an ongoing construction business; the City of Winnebago at 527 N. Main St. for stockpiling and/or storing salt, sand, gravel, rock, concrete and other raw materials; Richard Johnson at 38 Fourth St. NE for stockpiling rock and gravel; Osmundson Construction Inc. at the Southside Industrial Park for stockpiling black dirt, sand, rock, clay and old concrete.

The board then moved on to personnel matters.

“It is with great regret I make a motion to accept the resignation of library director Heidi Schutt,” council member Anderson said.

The motion was approved and then Schutt addressed the council.

“I want you all to know how much I love the library,” Schutt said. “I really cannot believe how many years I have spent there.”

Schutt mentioned she has accepted a position as the Reference and Acquisitions Librarian at the Martin County Library in Fairmont.

The council also voted to accept the resignation of Cliff Marx from the Planning Commission and Kathy Johnson from the library staff. Johnson has been with the library for over 30 years.

Mayor Jeremiah Schutt thanked Marx and Johnson on behalf of the council for their years of service to the city.

The board also approved having officer Jacob Pettit attend a 40 hour Use of Force Instructor School. When completed, Pettit will be a licensed Use of Force instructor able to instruct the other officers in their annual training, mandated by the Minnesota Police Officer Standards and Training Board.