Weekly Memo 4-27-2012

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

WEEKLY UPDATE:

Legislative Update

The House and the Senate have each passed the bill that would allow an expansion of fireworks sales and use in Minnesota.  Governor Dayton currently is considering the bill.  Several organizations, including the League of Minnesota Cities and the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association, have great concerns with the expansion of fireworks.  The current proposal would allow sales between June 1 and July 7, and it continues to allow the City to impose restrictions within existing state law.  Should the Governor sign the bill, I will ask the City Attorney to provide the City Council with further information regarding the regulation of fireworks. 

The House passed a bonding bill that was significantly lower than most previous proposals.  The current proposal includes $20 million to the Waste Water Infrastructure Fund (WIF).  WIF funds are provided as partial grants to communities that construct or repair waste water facilities including lagoons and treatment plants. 

The Governor recently signed an expansion of Minnesota’s synthetic drugs law that would allow the State Board of Pharmacy to regulate synthetic drugs.  Generally, the State Board, which meets regularly, is better equipped than the Legislature to update and maintain lists of new synthetic compounds that change frequently.  This will allow greater flexibility for the state to update synthetic drug laws even when the Legislature is not in session.

DEPARTMENT REPORTS:

Water and Light, Bonnie Abel

Watermain Replacement

The Water and Light Department’s 2012 Watermain Replacement Project will encompass the Mero Ct. SE, Greenwood Dr. SE, 4th St SE and the River Dr. SE area.    Residents in those areas will be provided with temporary water service, if their water is fed from any of the affected watermains.  The temporary service will remain in place until the new watermains have been installed and disinfected. 

Drinking Water Week

The Water and Light Department will be celebrating Drinking Water Week, May 7-11 with an open house at the business office in City Hall and there will be guided tours of the Water Treatment Plant each day from 10:00 – 2:00.  The Water Plant has installed a new drinking fountain that also incorporates a “Water Bottle Filling Station” and customers that participate in the Water Plant tours will receive a water bottle to fill at the new Bottle Filling Station.  

For more than 30 years the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and water professionals take this opportunity during Drinking Water Week to raise special attention to the future of water, water infrastructure and the economy & careers in the water profession and source water protection.

Library, Charlotte Helgeson

The Campbell Library summer’s program for elementary children is “Imagine That at the Library”.   Registration begins Tuesday, May 1—online, by phone or at the Library.  Parents can sign up their children for one or more weeks of the series.  NW MN Arts Council is providing funding for presenters for each week…O’ for Heaven’s Cakes, Wonder Weavers, Northern Heights Rock Gym, Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre and The Groove Club from Nashville, TN. 

Public Works, Jason Stordahl

Spring clean up will take place May 7-11 this year.  Residents can place their items on the berm to be picked up on their normal collection day. 

Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics drop off day will be Saturday, May 12th.  Drop off destination will be the Public Works Building located at 1001 2nd ST NE.  The event will run from 9am to 3pm.

Parks and Recreation, Dave Aker

1)  The Trailhead bathrooms will be open on May 12.
2)  The VFW is currently ceiling the floor.
3)  The cemetery is busy with leveling out markers.
4)  We are currently having trouble with the high school kids playing hockey at the O’Leary tennis courts.
5)  Next week the trees are in and some playground equipment will be put in.

AGENDA ITEMS:

We have a relatively light agenda next week although there are a few key items included.

Item 3 is the continuation of the public hearing regarding the proposed special assessment of Greenway Boulevard and 13th Street SE.  The previous public hearing was continued to this week due to publication error.  The Council after the public hearing will consider ordering the project with plans and specifications.

Item 7 approves the filing of plans and specifications for the 15th Street NE reconstruction.  The Council will consider advertising for bids with a projected bid opening date in early June.

Item 6 considers approving an increase in the speed limit on 23rd Street NW from 30 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour.

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