Weekly Memo 9-30-2011

Each Weekly Memo to the City Council is also provided on the City Council web page.

WEEKLY UPDATE:

Waste Water Interconnect

A council work session on the Cost of Service Analysis (COSA) for the proposed waste water interconnect project tentatively has been rescheduled for Thursday, October 13 at 5:00 pm.  The meeting was originally scheduled for this past Tuesday.

Arena Wi-Fi

The City’s Information Technology staff is completing work to add wireless internet capabilities to the Civic Center and the VFW arena.  Some Wi-Fi capability is now available.  IT will complete work soon to ensure that Wi-Fi is available throughout the two facilities.  The new broadband connections not only will provide a service enhancement to patrons of the buildings, but also should result in lower telecommunications (phone, internet) costs at the arenas .

Sherlock Forest Playground

Sherlock Forest Playground reopened on Tuesday evening after an exhaustive effort by hundreds of volunteers.  Despite a short delay due to weather and materials shipments, the project was completed less than four months following the unfortunate fire at the facility.  This is record time for the completion of such a facility by all accounts.  All of our thanks go out to the planning committee and the many dedicated volunteers that successfully completed the playground.  The City is not likely to have a financial burden on the project due to insurance proceeds and the many generous donations from the public.  Finally, we will be able to invest over $25,000 back into the community by reimbursing service clubs for their labor contributions.

Gladwin Lynne retirement

The Parks and Recreation Department will hold a retirement celebration for Gladwin Lynne, Red River State Recreational Area Manager, on Thursday, October 13 at the Senior Center.  Gladwin has directed the facility since its opening.  We will miss his knowledge, expertise, and dedication to the campground. Fortunately, Gladwin leaves us in a great position moving forward.

Fall cleanup

Public Works crews will conduct the fall residential household cleanup next week – October 3-7.  Household Hazardous Waste drop off will be at the Public Works maintenance shop on Saturday, October 8.  Residents can place bulky items at the curb.  Large-scale contracting and construction waste is not eligible for household cleanup.  Contracting and renovation waste must be scheduled for a special pickup (fees apply) or hauled directly to the Public Works shop or to a landfill. Small amounts of wood and other materials is acceptable.

Budget meetings

The City Council begins its budget work session deliberations next week.  The first meeting is on Wednesday, October 5.  The Public Works Department will present on Wednesday.  The presentation will start at City Hall with a facilities tour of approximately one hour.  The Public Works Superintendent will then present the Public Works budget back at the City Hall training room.  I have attached the budget work session schedule for your convenience.  The budget work sessions will occur on each Wednesday in October.

Survey response

The City began promoting a citizen feedback survey a few weeks ago.  The survey is being conducted online through a partnership with the League of Minnesota Cities.  We have seen a slow response rate thus far to the survey.  I appreciate any help that you can provide to promote the survey.  Responses can be quite useful to the City in its budget deliberations and overall strategic planning efforts for next year and beyond.   A link to the city survey can be found on the home page of the City’s web site – www.egf.mn.  Or the direct link to the survey is: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/EASTGRANDFORKS2011.

Northwest Corridor Study

Northwest Corridor Study Steering Committee reconvened on Thursday afternoon.  The Committee held an open public forum Thursday evening at EGF Senior High.  Several interested residents in the vicinity of 5th Avenue NW attended the public forum.  The study is investigating options for potentially providing open access to 5th Avenue NW across Highway 2.  The committee is also studying potential geometric improvements to the intersection of the River Road NW/12th Avenue NW/17th Street NW.  The committee will meet again in November.  A final recommendation is expected for Council consideration by the end of the year.  Currently, improvements to 5th Avenue NW is planned for partial federal funding in 2014.  After the Committee concludes its study, the City Council will decide whether to keep 5th Avenue NW in the funding plant or to shift the federal funding to another eligible project(s).

DEPARTMENT REPORTS:

Library, Charlotte Helgeson

A meeting with Kraus-Anderson was held Tuesday, September 28 to form a team to bring the roof to a final satisfactory conclusion.  A designer will be included.  A proposed project including the specifics of a timeline, budget and rehabilitation details will be brought forward to the council before any action is taken.

Police Department, Chief Mike Hedlund

Traffic Safety

The wonderful weather that we have been experiencing can lead us to be less careful with our driving.  Harvests are getting in to full swing and unfortunately that means that there will be a variety of road hazards ranging from mud to agricultural products like sugar beets and potatoes.  All of these items can cause problems on our roadways and drivers are urged to be cautious.  Significant temperature fluctuations are the norm this time of year and that can result in fog and even frost in unexpected areas.   In addition we are coming in to the time of year where wild animals, especially deer will be on the move.  Deer are already starting to be seen on a regular basis in town and our Department has to cover several car/deer crashes almost every year.  Slow down drive defensively and don’t be a statistic.

Orton’s Robbery

At 9:18 PM on September 22, 2011 the Orton’s Tesoro Convenience Store at 504 Rhinehart Drive was robbed.  The suspect – a white male, approx. 6’0” tall and weighing approx. 140-150 pounds entered the store and demanded money from the clerk.  The suspect, believed to be in his early 20’s wore a mask and was last seen leaving the store on foot.  If you have any information that might help solve this crime please call the East Grand Forks Police Department at (218) 773-1104.

AGENDA ITEMS:

A routine agenda includes primary the following items under the consent agenda.

  • A resolution delegating to staff the authority to approve certain licenses and permits.
  • Approving the promotional process for an anticipated Patrol Sergeant vacancy.
  • Approving the annual service agreement with the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) to provide safety management services to the City.

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