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Nevis plans for street upgrades

The Nevis Council agreed to move forward with repairing the retaining walls at the city beach and upgrades to five streets at this week's meeting.

City maintenance supervisor Don Umthun reported specifications have been drafted for the park work. The council agreed to advertise for bids with a decision possible at the February meeting.

The city will advertise for the street work bids in February. Specific streets were not named at the meeting. Umthun thanked former county highway department employee John Wagenaar for sharing his expertise on the project.

"I want to get this done by spring," mayor Paul Schroeder said.

In other action, the council:

n Reported municipal liquor store earnings of $61,683 in 2011. This is more than twice the year-end net profit of $30,075 in 2010.

Schroeder commended liquor store manager Lisa Kamrowski, asking that she provide input on how money deposited in the liquor store reserve account be spent.

The city deposited $30,000 into the general fund per the 2011 budgeted levy amount with $31,683 deposited in the liquor store reserve account, which now totals $31,933.

The council approved sending Kamrowski to the Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association "boot camp," a two-day seminar addressing promotions, inventory, goal setting and other strategies.

Kamrowski came with a list of goals she and Cammy Johnson set last year after attending the seminar. They met nearly every one, she told the council.

"I think it's a good investment," Schroeder said. "You are doing an excellent job and I want that to continue. Good year, well done."

n Appointed Heidi Schmeichel assistant mayor and John Masog as city attorney. Johnson will serve as liaison to the Planning Commission in 2012.

Commission appointments include Johnson as commissioner of the fire department and liquor store; Tom Haag, police department; Schroeder, administration; John Plumley, streets, sewer and water, and Schmeichel, parks and cemetery.

n Tabled a decision on rate changes for marking graves. The city currently charges $500 for the service in the winter, $200 in the summer.

Schmeichel suggested the charge be reduced to $200 for residents and $400 for non-residents.

Determining the exact location of a site is far more labor intensive in the winter, Umthun explained. And the city faces more liability issues, he said.

Umthun questioned how residency would be determined, citing seniors who move from Nevis to Park Rapids.

"The revenue doesn't come close to what it costs," Umthun said of the process that can take up to a day in the winter.

The ordinance would have to be amended, city administrator Carol Fridgen pointed out. This could not be accomplished by a simple motion from the council.

The council agreed to table the matter, Schroeder asking for a rate comparison with neighboring towns.

n Learned from Uffda Days committee member Russ Hensel the flagpole project the organization is spearheading will be complete by May 15.

The organization has been approached by citizens requesting they be in charge of decorating the tree and pavilion for Christmas, Hensel said. The suggestion earned unanimous approval.

"We are fortunate to have the Uffda Days committee," Schroeder said.

"We are looking for ideas for projects to improve the town," Hensel said. He may be reached at 652-4421.

"We will keep you in mind," Schroeder told him, indicating additional upgrades at the beach may be a possibility.

n Reported some residents may be asked to keep water running as temperatures drop to avoid a freeze in the lines.