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City owned roofs need attention

BE Council hears report of needed repairs and maintenance

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | May 9, 2021

Construction has started on some of the projects for this summer in Blue Earth. The 10th and Nicollet Street project began with crews moving buried electrical and gas lines at left.

The city of Blue Earth owns quite a few buildings in the city, and that translates to a lot of roofs that need maintenance.

At a work session before their regular meeting on Monday, May 3, the City Council received a detailed update on the condition of at least a dozen city-owned roofs.

“The roof inspections were done by Kato Roofing of Mankato,” city administrator Mary Kennedy told the council. “They rated all the roofs from A to F, with A meaning the roof will last 12 to 15 years, with other grades being fewer years remaining before replacement.”

Plus there was an in depth listing of what repairs should be done to each roof.

For instance, the fitness center roof received a grade of B, but needs approximately $9,000 in maintenance and repairs. Kennedy reported the fitness center board of directors had already authorized those repairs be made.

The Blue Earth Wine and Spirits municipal liquor store had a grade of A, but still has $1,300 in repairs listed as needed to be done. The Blue Earth Community Library had a grade of C and needs $7,125 in repairs.

City Hall has several roofs as part of its structure, with grades from B to F, and $12,540 in repairs needed.

The council discussed taking care of some of the required maintenance and repair items, as well as budgeting in the future for additional maintenance costs or possible future replacement expense.

At the end they decided to have staff continue to study the issue and not make any decisions at the work session.

In other business at the regular meeting, the council:

• Approved pay requests for work done on two duplexes being constructed by APX Construction of Mankato, one on Fourth Street and one in the new housing development.

The Fourth Street unit pay request was for $43,094. The total project cost is $476,115 and the balance remaining is $62,954. The Blue Stem Drive unit pay request was $11,474. Total project cost is $513,757 and the balance left is $32,024.

• Also approved a contract for engineering services for both the Nicollet-10th Streets and Walnut Street construction projects with Bolton & Menk Engineers, at an amount not to exceed $375,000.

• Approved a new fee schedule for renting facilities at city parks including picnic shelters and ball fields. All were listed as $50 per day, plus some extra costs for garbage removal, etc.

• Approved the hiring of a part time employee at the liquor store, Leslie Lewis, as well as authorizing Public Works supervisor Jamie Holland to advertise for a summer intern position at the wastewater treatment plant.

• Voted to allow the city to be the fiscal agent for a grant that would be used to fund having a mural painted on the east wall of the American Legion Hall building.

The grant would come from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and the Huisman Family Foundation to the city which would then pay the cost of the mural.

• Went into closed session to review an employee issue at the Blue Earth Wine and Spirits store. When the council came back into open session 45 minutes later they took two votes. The first, to table the matter to the next meeting failed to pass on a 4-3 vote with mayor Rick Scholtes and council members Glenn Gaylord, Dan Warner and Wendy Cole voting no and council members John Huisman, Russ Erichsrud and Marty Cassem voting yes.

The second motion, to terminate the employment of liquor store employee Molly Halvorson passed by a vote of 5-2 with councilmen Huisman and Cassem voting no.