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Nevis teacher joins council

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news Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

BY JEAN RUZICKA

Nevis School history teacher Rich Johnson will fill the Nevis Council seat vacated by John Plumley.

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The suggestion came at the recommendation of his peer and mayor Paul Schroeder.

The city received no response from candidates to fill the vacancy.

“I think he’s a good choice,” Schroeder told the council Monday. “He has a level head and cares about the city.”

Council members Tom Haag and Tom Frank concurred. Heidi Schmeichel was absent.

In other action, the council:

n Agreed to move forward on rehabilitation of city well two this week at the recommendation of maintenance supervisor Don Umthun.

“The longer we wait, the worse it gets,” he counseled. “A well pump is not cheap. We are trying to protect what we have.”

Umthum asked the council to waive the customary quote-seeking process, noting Thein Well has worked for the city since he arrived on the scene.

When the well was last inspected in August 2012, the capacity had dropped to 16.19 (gallons per foot of screen), Zach Thein wrote in a letter to Umthun. The well has been on a downward trend since the last rehab in 2002, when it was brought back to 24.13.

Umthun said he has shut down a valve to control the flow, “but it will get worse. The longer we wait, the worse it gets.”

The procedure would be similar to 2002, the difference would be the use of a jetting truck that enhances the technique, Thein explained.

The council accepted a quote of $6,500 to $7,500 from Thein Well for the project, which does not include replacement materials, which would also require council approval.

City administrator Carol Fridgen reported the money is available in the water replacement fund.

 Tabled a “neighborhood park planning meeting” on the skating rink and park expansion, which came at the recommendation of the Planning Commission.

Members reviewed plans to expand the skating rink park “in connection with the potential donation of property to the city by First Church of Christ,” planning and zoning commissioner Andrew Mack wrote in a letter the council.

The commission subsequently recommended a meeting with nearby property owners.

“I think you are putting the cart before the horse,” Schroeder said. “We gave the C&C permission to go forward,” he said, indicating the issue should not be brought before the council at this point. “We need the piece of property first.

“The Planning Commission should be involved,” Schroeder said, indicating he would bring the matter up at the next C&C meeting.

 Reported the contract with the school to place a radio antenna atop the water tower requires a detailed summary on where it will be placed and other matters before it will be approved by the Department of Natural Resources.

 Approved the purchase of siren equipment to inform residents of tornados and other weather conditions. The current equipment was rendered obsolete with the new radio system.

Land lines are the only means to communicate at this point.

At the recommendation of fire chief Kerry Swenson, the council okayed spending up to $3,000 for the siren upgrades, the money to be appropriated from gaming.

 Approved the purchase of a security camera system for the liquor store at a cost of $5,000.

Nevis is the only bar in the area without cameras, manager Lisa Kamrowski pointed out. The purchase is expected to lower insurance rates.

 Reported liquor store earnings of $364 in February.

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