BE Council deals with two houses
The Blue Earth City Council had two different public hearings held during their regular meeting last Monday evening.
Both public hearings had to do with houses located in the city.
One public hearing concerned an empty house at 906 Valley Drive. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the existence of public nuisance conditions and City Code violation issues with the house.
Representatives of the current owners of the house, Lakeview Loan Servicing, attended the meeting by telephone conference call.
They reported how many repairs have been accomplished and that the house ownership will soon transfer back to HUD (Housing and Urban Development, a federal agency) and HUD is expected to put the property up for sale.
The council voted at the end of the public hearing to adopt an order to abate hazardous building conditions at the house and that the city intends to enforce the City Code in this case.
The second public hearing was a joint meeting with the city’s Housing and Rehabilitation Authority (HRA) concerning a house at 419 E. Second St., owned by the HRA.
The purpose of the hearing was to authorize the transfer of ownership of the property to Habitat for Humanity of Faribault and Martin Counties at a price of $1.
After hearing no public comment, the council voted in favor of a property transfer ordinance to sell the house to Habitat for Humanity.
Next, members of the HRA, who were attending the meeting by telephone conference call, also voted to agree to the sale of the house.
In other business at last Monday’s meeting, the council:
Heard an update from police chief Tom Fletcher about the “spring sweep” city nuisance ordinance enforcement.
Fletcher reported there were 32 violations identified and now 28 of those are in compliance. They are still working with three property owners to come into compliance and have been unable to deal with one, who has now been cited.
Heard an update from Public Works supervisor Jamison Holland about changes being made at the Blue Earth City Campground located at the city owned Faribault County Fairgrounds.
Besides adding five more sites, the changes include new rules for campers, adding WiFi, and upping the nightly camping fee from $20 to $25.
Some of the rules include having no more than two vehicles at each site, no noise between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., no fireworks allowed, and pet owners must follow city rules.
The change in daily rates came on a suggestion from Holland who stated the $20 is on the low end of what area campgrounds charge per night. Mayor Rick Scholtes agreed, saying rates from $20 up to $50 are common, or even more.
Holland said they also plan on enforcing the $5 charge for using the sewer dump station, which is used by campers not staying at the campground.
Holland also said the work on the five additional campsites, which used to be for tents, is coming along.
“We are just waiting for the electrician to come and hook up the electrical,” he said. “Then we can get the gravel, grass seeding and landscaping finished up.”
Heard an update from city engineer Wes Brown of Bolton and Menk, concerning the many street improvement projects going on in the city.
Brown reported the South Sailor Street Phase 1 underground work is completed and they are grading the road surface and putting in aggregate.
Phase 2 will be starting right away and includes work on Sailor Street from Fourth to Fifth streets and Fifth Street from East to Grove streets.
Phase 1 of Leland Parkway is getting aggregate and Phase 2 detours have gone up from the Main Street bridge to First Street.
Brown also reported the final assessments for North Sailor Street have been prepared and the final public hearing will need to be held.
Voted to grant a liquor license for beer to the Blue Earth Pirates at the Veterans Memorial Ball Park at the fairgrounds.
Voted to not have a pay increase for the mayor and council at this time. Current pay is at $3,000 per year for council members and $4,800 for the mayor.