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Nevis city water tower will double as radio antenna site

By Jean Ruzicka

The Nevis Council, conducting an expeditious meeting this week, has approved a lease agreement with the school district, allowing a radio antenna to be attached to the city’s water tower.

The agreement, which was drafted at the direction of the DNR, allows the “landlord,” the city, to lease space on the water tower to the school, “the tenant,” for construction and maintenance of a communications tower at no cost, the contract expiring at the end of 2017.

In November, the school accepted a $25,994 quote for a digital radio system for school buses from Roger’s Two Way Radio in Bemidji.

The school is purchasing 15 digital radios with GPS capabilities, a repeater system for increased coverage and four hand-held radios that will be used by school staff to communicate with bus drivers.

But the system required substantial elevation to be effective. Superintendent Steve Rassier headed to the council to request installation on the tower.

But mounting the antenna proved to be more of a hurdle than anticipated after the city learned the process would involve the Department of Natural Resources, owners of the property where the tower stands.

A contract was required.

The city accepted the terms, addressing maintenance, termination and transfers, and the school is expected to follow suit.

In other action, the council:

n Learned the municipal liquor store netted $24,906 in July.

n Denied a request for a monetary contribution to UffDa! Days this year but approved $200 be allocated for the event in next year’s budget.

Council member Tom Haag noted the city contributes in labor and other ways to the events.

Tom Frank pointed out the UffDa! Days event has added $5,000 to $6,000 in gifts to the community.

The 10th annual event, to be held over Labor Day weekend, will include the continuing saga of Ole and Lena, a parade, Kids Against Hunger 5K and 10-mile runs, a kids’ fishing tourney, the now-famous lutefisk and Swedish meatball dinner, kids games and contests and live music.

n Approved Russ Hensel’s and Angi Trelstad’s suggestion to build steps near the brick wall by the boat beach. They will provide volunteer labor; the city will pay for materials.

n Agreed to replace the light at Lakeside Cemetery at a cost of $650.

n Agreed, at the request of the city of Wadena, to repay $650 in FEMA funds to Wadena, the amount paid to the Nevis Fire Department after the tornado three years ago.

The issue revolves around mutual aid, the first four hours of service should have been at no charge, the letter from the Wadena Fire Department and city pointed out.

Nevis was paid a total of $1,100 for services and, based on FEMA policy, Wadena was reimbursed $450. Wadena asked Nevis for the amount not covered by FEMA.

At fire chief Kerry Swenson’s recommendation, the council agreed to repay Wadena the $650.