Spring Grove City Council met Monday, May 16 at 6 p.m. at Spring Grove Communications, Room 100. Mayor Scott Solberg led council and the public through the oath of allegiance.
All city council members were present – Mayor Scott Solberg, Travis Torgerson, Karen Folstad, Chad Rohland and Trent Turner. Also in attendance were City Clerk/Administrator Julie Amundson, Sue Schulte, Miles Schulte, Director of Public Works John Sylling, Adin Solum, Aaron Solum, Sean Young, Pat Longmire, Pat Longmire Jr. and Todd Olerud.
The board adopted the May 16 meeting agenda and approved the consent agenda, including April 19 minutes, regular meeting and financial statements, and accepted three donations – Gemini Corp, $250.00 for summer recreation, Gary and Jan Lee Buxengard, $100 for parks, and Joe Pellowski, $100 for the fire department.
Council members asked Sylling about the pool work. Sylling responded that the work will take place in the fall instead of this summer, allowing the city to open the Aquatic Center on June 6. Amundson has confirmed that the slide for the Fest building has been ordered and will be delivered in August.
The council had a lengthy discussion regarding the municipal liquor store with Sean Young, Pat Longmire and Pat Longmire Jr. weighing in on the conversation. Councilor Rohland asked the city to prepare a profit and loss statement for the first four months of 2022. The P&L showed the store’s revenue was $129,613 and expenses were $137,059, resulting in a loss of $7,446. Erin Konkel, treasurer/assistant clerk, noted in the report that this is typical for the first four months of the year, as the city prepays for insurance and inventory. Rohland said: “We lost money two years in a row. The liquor store lost $26,385 last year after receiving COVID funds and lost $43,000 the previous year. The year before COVID, there was a small surplus of $5,779. Before that, the trend was rather downward. Rohland went on to explain that the board had to decide on the next steps. There are three options: 1. Have a public hearing and the board makes the decision to close the liquor store or keep it open; 2. The council can decide without a public hearing; and 3. Hold a public hearing and then hold a formal public vote to decide whether to keep the store open or close it. Mayor Solberg said he was uncomfortable with the store losing money. He asked, “How can we turn this business around?”
The mayor said: “It feels like we’re tabling the decision even though we have to vote.”
The city has approved a request from Adin Solum to connect to city water and will be charged double the rate. Amundson will contact Houston County Environmental Specialist Amelia Meisner, ask the city attorney to review the sewer hook-up ordinance, and get back to Solum as soon as she hears back. lawyer. The request for a sewer connection will be on the agenda of the June municipal council.
Miles Schulte submitted an application to build a privacy fence on his property. He explained that the existing fence will not be removed. The council approved his request.
Amundson introduced the Fest’s new building fee schedule after noting that she had received requests from nonprofit organizations about paying a fee to use the building. The council approved the new Fest building fee schedule – rent is $275, security deposit $100, bar service fee $100, extra days $50, optional step of $50, nonprofit security deposit $100, nonprofit rent $50, nonprofit bar $100, extra days are $50, and optional step $50 .
The board unanimously approved hiring Christopher Strinmoen, director, Logan Brumm, Jaxon Strinmoen, Ben Udstuen, Caleb Griffin, Gabe Klug, Kody Moore, Jordan Anderson, Alisha Solum, Jessica Morken and Niels Olesen for the summer recreation.
Athletic Booster President Todd Olerud appeared before the board asking for $1,500 to update the sound system for the baseball and football fields. The Boosters will pay the bulk of the expenses, $5,000. Olerud will ask the school board for $1,500. The total project cost is $8,000, as the Boosters will install the system at no cost. This has been approved pending school approval.
Council met in closed session at 7:24 p.m. to discuss the position of the chief of police.
The Spring Grove City Council will hold a special meeting with public hearing on Tuesday, May 24 at City Hall from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The next regular Spring Grove City Council meeting will be Tuesday, June 21 at 6 p.m. in Spring Grove Communications Room 100. The public is invited to attend.