Weekly Memo 9-14-2012

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

Bonding bill

Governor Mark Dayton yesterday announced the projects that are to be funded through the Capital Projects Grant program.  The program was funded with $47.5 million in state bonding appropriations.  Dayton opted to fund nine projects out of a total of 90 applications.  Highlights of the successful proposals include $25 million for the renovations to the St. Paul Saints independent league baseball park, $8.5 million for a Duluth downtown parking facility, $4.2 million for a wellness facility in Wadena, and $2 million for light rail in the Twin Cities.  The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) did not rank 53 projects, including the East Grand Forks waste water treatment proposal.  The total amount of requests was over $288 million for the $47.5 million available.

Pool feasibility study

Ballard King and Associates will visit East Grand Forks on October 1-3 for the first phase of the approved pool feasibility study.  The primary purpose of this visit is to gather stakeholder and public input.  The consultant also will visit alternative facilities in East Grand Forks and Grand Forks such as the Choice Wellness Center, the Grand Forks public pools, and Canad Inn.  The tentative schedule includes a meeting with Save Our Pool on the evening Monday, October 1.  Jeff King also will hold individual meetings on Tuesday, October 2 with middle and high school students, senior citizens, and the Parks and Recreation Department.  The public is invited to a forum on Tuesday, October 2 in which the public is encouraged to attend and offer ideas and suggestions (Note: this likely will run concurrently with the schedule City Council meeting).  Finally, Mr. King will brief the City Council on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 3.  Ballard King and Associates will then use the information to further develop  the feasibility study.  Another series of meetings in East Grand Forks is scheduled for late October.  Finally, the feasibility study is scheduled to be completed in late November.

Green Choices Challenge update

East Grand Forks remains in 19th placed out of 50 cities after two months of the Green Choices Challenge.  The challenge places our residents in a competition with cities across the nation to determine which city can recycle the largest portion of its solid waste stream.  The City is encouraging more residents to participate.  And, even more importantly, we stress that those who are already signed up for the challenge continue to participate in the program so that the Recyclebank can record the activity of registered users.  The competition runs through December.  The top-ranked City will receive a $100,000 grant for sustainable projects.  Local participants also have free access to the Recyclebank program.  Recyclebank provides rewards, gift certificates and coupons to participants just for reporting recycling and other “green” activities.  Residents can register for both programs at www.recyclebank.com/greenchoices or contact the Public Works Department at 773-1313.  Finally, we encourage local businesses to offer rewards through the program.  Businesses can contact Recyclebank directly at www.recyclebank.com/advertise-with-us.  The only cost to businesses is the promotion, reward, or discount that the business chooses to offer.

Building Inspections RFP

The City is publishing on the City web site a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Building Inspections services per Council resolution.  An advertisement also will appear in The Exponent.   Proposals are due to the City by Tuesday October 2 at 10:00 am.

Senior Center Pig Roast

The Senior Center Pig Roast is scheduled for this Sunday, September 16 from 11:00 am-1:00 pm at the East Grand Forks Senior Center (538 Rhinehart Dr).  Tickets for adults are $9, children are $4.

PD Awards Ceremony

The East Grand Forks Police Department will be holding an awards ceremony on Wednesday September 19, 2012 at 2:00 PM in the city council chambers in the EGF City Hall.  The ceremony will include awards given to citizens in appreciation for assistance provided to the department and to officers from the department for things such as years of service, advanced certifications and lifesaving.  Refreshments will be served following the ceremony and the public is welcome!

League Regional Meeting

The Mayor, members the City Council, and I are scheduled to attend the League of Minnesota Cities Regional meeting in Thief River Falls on Wednesday.  One can view the agenda at http://lmc.org/page/1/agenda-regmtgs12.jsp.

I will be out of the office from Thursday, September 20 through Thursday, September 27.  I will attend as part of my trip the League of Minnesota Cities policy committee meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 25 and 26.

DEPARTMENT REPORTS:

Parks and Recreation, Dave Aker

1)       The hockey boards from the Civic Center have been sold to Luverne, MN.  They are coming on Friday night to pick them up.

2)      The new hockey boards are being installed the week of September 24 – 28.

3)      The condensers have been installed and hooked up at the Civic Center.

4)      The tree and stump removal bid has been approved for this fall.  It is from Terry’s Tree Service.  Dale Gulbranson will take the smaller trees down, if you see any that have to come down now is the time.

5)      John Snustad from US Bank has given us a grant for $2,000 for trees that will go down in LaFave Park next spring.

6)      Garry is finishing the tile in the VFW Arena, it is looking good.

7)      Brian is finishing painting the hallways in the Civic Center and the lobby, he will soon be  starting putting in tile in the Civic Center.

8)      Hockey registration is October 3 at City Hall until 7:00 pm, people can register all week in the Parks and Recreation office October 1 – 5.

9)      The trailheads are planning on closing September 30 and the Campground is closing October 15.

Library, Charlotte Helgeson

The Library’s roof is in the process of being rebuilt and re-shingled.  The contractors have shown a great deal of respect for the library environment and our patrons.  Brad Smith, Kraus Anderson’s Superintendent, is constantly onsite and involved in every step made by the numerous contractors.  Matt from Braun Intertec is also onsite this week during the reconstruction phase.  The project is scheduled to be completed in 4 weeks.

September is Signup for Library Cards Month.  The Campbell Library is Forgetting Fines for patrons who update an old card if all materials have been returned.  With each update or new card, the patrons are eligible to have their names in a book drawing every Friday in September.

Public Works, Jason Stordahl

WASTEWATER

Lift Station #1 (on 8th Ave. NW) is our primary lift station.  This means it is the last lift station that wastewater goes through before entering our City Ponds.  So there is a tremendous flow of wastewater traveling through the lift.  With that flow of wastewater there is also odor.  At times the odor, (although not harmful to residents health) can be quite pungent.

Throughout the last month our Wastewater Operators have been working diligently, experimenting with different ways to reduce the odor.  So far they have had limited success.   They just implemented a new order reducing product in the lift on Wednesday of this week.   We are optimistic that this will help.  We will monitor the odor throughout the week, and if the odor is not reduced we will move on to the next plan.

REMINDER

For all residence that signed up for the Recycle Bank contest, please remember to continue to report.  And for all that have not signed up yet we encourage you to do so.

For information on the Recycle Bank program you can contact the Public Works Department at 218-773-1313.

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