Shafer City Coiuncil met May 19 for a regular meeting. All members were present with engineer Lucas Jones absent.
In new business, Charles Hafner of the Shafer Saloon asked the council if the saloon could serve customers on their outdoor patio on Memorial weekend. Sheriff Brandon Thyen who was in attendance, told the council his Office does not have the authority nor does he hold a magic key to make what Hafner was asking possible. Thyen said the public's safety is his main priority. His advice is to work with the Governor's orders and not against them. Thyen said he cannot give advice to break the law. Thyen said the state is pursuing Division with the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement. Thyen said they have the power to revoke buyers cards held by liquor license holders. Thyen said there is also a possibility businesses that break the order could lose their insurance if an infection is traced back to that location.
Mayor Paula Hanson said there has been backlash by the community and that someone had called in a complaint against Ole's Crossroads for being open for take out. City attorney James Monge told the council state law has precedence over local law and a city cannot pass a law that would conflict with the state law.
Hafner asked again if he can open Memorial weekend. He told the council he has a COVID 19 plan ready. The council agreed to see what unfolds at the state before allowing the saloon to serve on the patio. Hanson said if things change at the state, they could hold a special meeting, but until then the answer is no for Memorial weekend. The reatsurant will be open June 1 as allowed by the State.
In his report, maintenance supervisor Dan Cooper told the council he had looked into internet connection and a camera system for well number one. Cooper said costs range from $200 to $500 per camera plus a monthly fee of $29.40 per camera. The thought of the camera system is to catch suspected illegal dumping in the compost site. Mayor Hanson asked about return on investment for the cameras. She would like to see a list of what has been dumped and the cost of disposing of those items.
Cooper then gave the MPCA audit report for the wastewater treatment facility. Cooper told the council the current testing meter the city uses is not approved for dissolved oxygen or pH. To be in compliance, the city must purchase a new meter that is approved by Title 40. Cost of a new meter is $3,500. Councilmember Nick Brehm made a motion for the purchase of the meter which passed unanimously.