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November 27, 2020

10/30/2020 3:32:00 PM
Shafer City Council hears about back-flow program

Shafer City Council met October 20 for a regular meeting.  Mayor Paula Hanson and Assistant Mayor Nick Brehm were absent.  City Clerk Joan Ciesler ran the meeting.

Jim Stein of Stein Insurance gave the council a brief explanation of the 2021 insurance plan the city will have.  The city is insured through the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust.  The city and the Shafer/Franconia Fire and Rescue are insured through the same policy.

A motion to not waive the Minnesota statutory limit  and accept the renewal as presented, by Councilmember Brad Swenson, seconded by Councilmember Patty Mattson.  The motion passed 3-0.

Shafer has contracted with the Safe Water Commission to manage the city’s backflow prevention program, effective January 1, 2021. In August, the city passed an ordinance adopting the MN State Plumbing Code which requires the testing and rebuilding of backflow devices, with the results required to be reported to the city.  The ordinance allowed 13 months for property owners with such devices to have their units tested and/or rebuilt per state code.  

The Safe Water Commission has supplied  two information letters for the city to use; one for property owners and one for testers and re-builders.  Council agreed letters to property owners would be sent out with the April 2021 water and sewer bill.
Letters to testers within 10 miles of Shafer would be sent out mid-February 2021.

The council then agreed to have the Canvassing Board meet November 12 to certify the election results.

In the engineer’s report city engineer Lucas Jones went over three exhibits showing different options for rehabbing the water tower and potentially build a replacement on the north end of the city.  Estimated cost of rehabbing the existing water tower would range between $500,000 to $600,000. To build a new tower the city is around $1.1 million.  A new tower would require a pressure reducing valve in older sections of town which would require street excavations.  

If the city chooses to go with the rehabbing of the existing tower it would need to act soon.

Jones did tell the council he spoke with Paxmar developers, owners of a parcel of land next to Shafer Meadows and they would have interest in selling it back to the city.  A rough estimate for the parcel would be $88,000.

In the public works report maintenance supervisor Dan Cooper was requesting a new laptop, carrying and docking station for the maintenance department.  This would allow minimal physical contact for training and meetings and allow mobile use of maps and information in city vehicles. Cost of the computer and dock station would be around $2,300.  The council passed the purchase of the laptop, using the CARES  Act fund.  

Cooper said that he and Treasurer Drew Hill are working on a capital improvement plan, they began developing it in June of this year. This plan includes vehicles, utility vehicles, well houses, lift stations, and small hand equipment. The two haven’t completed the draft yet.

In the clerk’s report, since the council approved the laptop purchase for public works department, Clerk Ciesler requested that the motion made at the October 6,  meeting to “spend up to $10,500” to be amended to “spend up to $15,000.” The amendment will cover the costs of the additional laptop, related accessories and set-up by Computer Wrangler.

A motion by Councilmember Brad Swenson, seconded by Councilmember Patty  Mattson passed unanimously.

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