5/16/2019 2:06:00 PM Shafer Council ok's installation of fiber optic line, discusses new pole shed, Tool Cat purchase
Shafer City Council met May 7 for a regular meeting. Council member Brad Swenson was absent as was city attorney James Monge. With no public hearings, the council moved quickly to consent agenda.
In new business, the council was informed of the Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail segment opening. The trail is now nearly complete between Shafer and Taylors Falls and a grand opening ceremony took place May 11. The council was invited and encouraged to attend. The council also voted unanimously to allow the ceremony to use city hall if weather was inclement.
The council then learned city hall and the maintenance building have been having issues with the internet going down when the power kicks in for the Nextel cell phone tower which lies between city hall and the maintenance building. City clerk Joan Ciesler told the council they were dropping calls and internet would give out upwards of eight times per day. The council just approved a new phone system and internet, leaving Frontier for Lakes Telcom.
When asked about the system being new and why is it having problems already, Ciesler explained there was no testing for high levels of electricity underground when the city agreed to switch. The city has received a quote from Lakes Telcom for $1,667 to install fiber optic lines between the buildings which would solve the problem. City finance engineer Drew Hill told the council there was enough money to cover the installation. The council approved the cost of installation unanimously.
In unfinished business, the council got updated on the storage lot violations alleged against Richard Berget who owns property along Redwing Avenue. Ciesler told the council inspector Jack Kramer has been in touch with Berget about the violations and Berget was doing a good job cleaning up and licensing automobiles that needed to be. Kramer told Ciesler there was one vehicle left that needs to be moved away from the well head. State law says no vehicle shall be stored closer than 50 feet from a municipal well head. In the engineer's report, city engineer Lucas Jones told the council micro surfacing will begin this week in Buffalo Ridge. Jones said it would have been ideal to have the streets swept earlier but Fahrner will do so prior to micro surfacing.
Jones then asked the council for approval for a final payout to Dresel Contracting for the Shafer Oaks development. The final payment comes to $17,165 of which $12,000 will be paid by developer Paxmar via escrow. The council passed a motion for final payment unanimously.
In the public works report, maintenance supervisor Dan Cooper told the council he would like to purchase a new city truck but also stated that Ford is the only company that submitted a state bid and they are sold out until 2020. Cooper then went on to tell the council that 20 of the 40 replacement water meters have been installed. Cooper then told the council he would like to fix the storm sewer behind the fire department which has been not working for years and has turned into a permanent pond. Coopper told the council the drain in the sewer is broken and he would like to fix it before the pond gets too large. Cooper also said there have been some complaints around town about storm sewers backing up. Cooper said the maintenance staff will get out and clean them soon.
Cooper then told the council he would really like to purchase a Tool Cat multipurpose vehicle for the city. Cooper said it could be used for multiple tasks and the city could get rid of the pick up truck and the small tractor to help alleviate costs. Cooper estimates the city could get at least $10,000 for the Ford Ranger and around $6,000 for the tractor. That would bring the cost of a new Tool Cat down to around $39,000. Cooper pointed out the cost of maintaining old equipment is quickly adding up.
Cooper also told the council in the near future he would like to build a new pole building next to the maintenance shop. The new building would house the additional equipment that now sits outside all year long.
Council member Nick Brehm asked "How much is this going to cost us?" "You just got a new tractor". Cooper said he could have it built, with a concrete floor for $115,000.
Finance Advisor Drew Hill then told the council he was getting the numbers together and this would probably be feasible over the next five to 10 years.