City approves bonds for street improvement

LAUREL — Laurel City Council members listened to a presentation by Kyle Overturf of a review of the 2019-2020 audit on Feb. 8.

“The city is in very good financial shape,’’ Overturf said. “The city receives 26 percent of its revenue from grants. Property tax is not a big source of revenue.’’ The water utilities had a $30,000 loss due to the water tower and well repairs.

A change in expenses at the park and pool had decreased due to the Covid precautions.

Andy Forney of D. A. Davidson also gave a presentation. The board approved Ordinance #597-2021 creating Street Improvement District No. 2021-1 and gave approval of Ordinance #598-2021 authorizing the issuance and sale of Bond Anticipation Notes.

Police activity was reported by Ron Lundahl including 11 warnings, eight hours of officer training, eight school violations, 170 building checks. Lundahl said the computer system is being installed in the police car this month.

The council approved resolution #2021- 370 amending the bylaws of the Economic Development Advisory Board. New Advisory Board Members appointed are Dan Kuhlman, Alissa Baier and Justin Eriksen.

The council approved an Interlocal agreement with Norfolk on the International Maintenance Property Code.

State Revolving Fund Loans for Water and Sewer were discussed. The council approved Ordinance #599-2021 for Water and Sewer Rates. Council members approved #600-2021 Snow Removal Ordinance. Council members accepted Grossenburg’s proposal to purchase the Calumet 1500 Vacuum Tank.

Council members approved the appointment of Logan Garber to the Laurel Planning Commission.

A building permit was approved for Dan Kuhlman to remove his existing carport and install a 30x30’ garage addition and replace his existing rock driveway.

Hillcrest Care Center report was given by Virginia Lundahl. The bathhouse remodeling should be completed soon. The floor is scheduled to be installed next week. “Residents are using technology more than ever to connect with families,’’ Lundahl said. “Our new tablets are being used to face time regularly. Both residents and families are enjoying this.”A second round of Covid-19 shots will be given Feb. 6. The last scheduled shot clinic is Feb. 27. A second whirlpool tub arrived from Penner Patient Care Systems.

“Expanding our Meals on Wheels to the rural community is going well. Volunteers have been assured that Hillcrest staff will help with deliveries as needed,’’ Lundahl said. “We are currently Covid-19 free.”

Economic Development activities were reported by Chris Rasmussen. The Laurel Chamber met to plan the year.

Under the economic development advisory by-laws, the Advisory Team is a sevenmember committee that provides direction, feedback and oversight to the economic development office. With the changes in the Advisory Team, Rasmussen said we needed to fill a few spots that have come open.

The 2021 Strategic Planning Session has been planned for Tuesday, March 22, at 5:30 p.m. at the City Auditorium.

Cedar County Convention and Tourism Board: Julia Kleinschmit will be stepping down as chair-person as she is moving to South Dakota this summer. There are currently three people on the board, and Rasmussen was asked to take the chairperson and recruit three more members that will be brought before the Cedar County Commissioners for approval.

Roger Protzman from JEO Engineering is in the process of leading the City in a search for an area to dig a test hole to eventually lead to a possible new additional well. An additional well is a priority for the community. Protzman came to town Jan, 28 and researched several possible areas.

A Pool Painting agreement with Miller Painting was approved at the Oct. 12, 2020 Council Meeting for the cost of $17,269.00 to be completed in the Spring of 2021. Donations will be accepted. A 10 year Pool Maintenance Agreement will be reviewed once the pool has been painted. The Pool Staff for 2021 is being put together. Delaney Ehlers will be the Pool Manager. Ehlers and Megan Forsberg are interested in teaching swimming lessons.

Laurel Northwest M-375(49) (Logan Creek/870 Rd FEMA Project): The onsite inspection, as part of the close out was completed on Oct. 30, 2020. NEMA has reviewed DR 4183 which includes the Laurel Northwest Logan Creek Project. The Laurel Northwest M-375(49) Project consisted of some embankment stabilization of the south embankment of the creek, moving 870 Rd 10’ south, extending the box culvert and metal culverts south as well as redoing the entrance and exit driveways of Central Valley Ag, removing the berm on the north side of 870 Rd and installing a guard rail for 3400’. The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District will be reimbursing the City for part of the City 12.5 percent share. FEMA is responsible for 75 percent and NEMA 12.5 percent of the project.

ACE, the Public Alliance for Community Energy is distributing $4,213 to the City as its share of $400,000 being distributed through ACE’s revenue return program.

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