The 12-foot concrete block wall visitors see coming into Nevis at the corner of Paul Bunyan Drive and Park Street now has a fence around it, but no one is sure who the wall actually belongs to.
Josh Winter, who resides at 100 Park Street at the property owned by his parents Richard and Kay Winter, told the Nevis City Council July 8 that he recently put a fence around the wall.
"The city built the wall," he said. "When they widened the street, they made the wall way higher. I spent $1,800 to put a fence up because it's not safe and people walk on top of it all the time."
Before the street was widened, a stone wall and hedge were at that location on the hill. Signs promoting various events in town are often hung there by various organizations because they are easily visible by those coming into town off Hwy. 34.
The council approved waiving the $25 permit fee for the fence installation.
"We need to find out who is responsible for that wall," council member Jeanne Thompson said. The council also approved proceeding to ascertain the facts of wall ownership.
In other action, the council:
• Heard an update from Public Works Supervisor Don Umthun that the city's street paving project should be starting on schedule, following the Aug. 10 triathlon.
• Approved participating in the Minnesota Department of Health's statewide project to test water systems for unregulated contaminants in drinking water, as recommended by Umthun. The project is funded by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and a copy of the results will be sent to the city.
• Heard someone launched fireworks off the city dock at the public landing, causing a mess and possibly some damage.
• Declared residences at 106 Cty. Rd. 13 and 301 Bunyan Trails Drive as hazardous properties so orders could be issued to their owners.
• Approved personnel policy changes in attendance, time shifts and paid time off (PTO) for city employees. Temporary and part-time liquor store or on-call employees are no longer eligible for PTO benefits and will be paid out a total of 28 hours of PTO previously earned.
• Reduced burial fees from $500 to $400 in the city's cemetery ordinance.
• Approved up to 12 hours a week for Deputy Clerk Dawn Buzay to assist liquor store manager Kiley Weaver with data entry to help get the new point-ofsale system up and running. Buzay will be paid for data entry from municipal liquor store funds.
• Heard the fire department responded to 14 fires during the second quarter of 2019, for a total of 126 hours and 27 medicals for a total of 77 hours.
• Heard firefighters will host a pancake breakfast open house from 8 a.m.-noon on Sunday, July 28 at the Nevis Fire Hall. Free-will donations will go towards new particle resistant face shields that help prevent cancer.
• Heard from deputy Josh Oswald that a report of a suspicious vehicle on July 3 resulted in numerous charges and an outstanding felony warrant.
• Discussed having a city-wide cleanup in the fall with roll-offs to help those who can't get to the county facilities. This item will be on the August meeting agenda.
• Heard Nevis resident Justin Isaacson is planning to use a building on Main Street to start a smaller version of a hardware store while continuing to work on building a new store on his property on Hwy. 34. He would like to add on to the back of the building on Main Street and was told he needs to go to the city's planning and zoning committee. The existing building is already zoned commercial.
• Discussed the option of having the Nevis Municipal Liquor Store off-sale at the strip mall Isaacson is planning to open on Hwy. 34 in two to three years in combination with his hardware store. Thompson said due to liquor storage which both facilities use having one facility for both on and off-sale is the goal at this time. "But that's not to say that idea's off the table," Mayor Jarod Senger added.
• Declined a request to increase the amount of petty cash for the municipal liquor store during Muskie Days.