The tower has been spot treated inside, but it has been reported that some rust is going through. Hubbard County received $4.6 million, with some of the funds already earmarked for projects. Applications for funding are due in December.
Clif Allen and Tyson Hajicek from Moore Engineering attended the Nov. 10 council meeting to share information about the grant applications. They said that, since the lifespan of a water tower is usually 20 years, that should be a priority for Akeley. Council member Dan Riggs said he believes the water tower was inspected in 2015 and that the interior may have been painted at that time.
Moore Engineering said that at 26 years old, even with repainting the interior, rust and eventually failure of Akeley’s water tower could happen. The council discussed painting of the water tower exterior and said since that work was done within the past five years, the focus would be the interior of the water tower.
Matching funds would be required for the project, which would have an approximately total cost of $200,000 to $500,000.
Replacing aging lift stations is another need the council discussed as being a priority.
The council approved a master services agreement with Moore Engineering to proceed with a list of eligible priorities to the county to get in line for a grant funding application by the Dec. 31 deadline. The goal will be to bring a draft of the funding proposal to the Dec. 8 council meeting.
Replacing sewer pond liners could also be a funding possibility for the city in the future, but Moore Engineering said due to the scope of the project and the timeline for funding it. Infrastructure money will likely funnel in through existing programs, according to Moore Engineering’s presentation. Rural Development is one of those programs and applications may be submitted at any time.
Moore Engineering encouraged the city to prioritize potential problems that need to be addressed in a capital improvement plan in anticipation of this funding so they are ready to apply as grant money becomes available. Water and sewer projects are handled separately and can be done in phases.
One of the factors considered in grants is median household income. Since Akeley has a low median resident income, that could help the city qualify for more funding.
In other business, the council:
Approved a resolution for three speed-monitoring signs so the city can apply for the needed permit with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The city will also be looking into a no passing zone in city limits on Hwy. 64 south.
Designated city hall as the polling place for 2022 elections.
Adopted a lien or assessment for unpaid charges to two residents who had not paid by Nov. 30.
Approved Akeley ice racing on 11th Crow Wing Lake for the 2021-22 season. “We’re hoping for good ice,” Riggs said.
Approved purchasing a new police radio. Most of the cost will come from state aid funds.
Heard that the city park received four docks from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Docks and the city pier have been pulled for the season.
Adopted an ordinance from Minnesota Rural Water regulating water tracer wire specifications.
Approved purchasing a new keypad to check and set calibrations for the city water flow meter at a cost of $1,995. Plans are to have the meter installed in the spring.
Approved reimbursing council member Bobbie Wosika for $56 rental of a post office box for the Akeley Community Parks project with plans to use the city mailbox in the future and discontinue having a separate box.
Approved a payment of $780 to Moore Engineering for work on the community parks project with funds coming from that project. The site survey crew has been working to determine boundaries. The estimated cost is $6,500 for this phase of the project and a DNR grant could be applied for as possible funding.
Heard that a letter will be going out to community members for fundraising for the community parks project. The next meeting of the committee will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 22 at city hall.
Heard the Eastern Hubbard County Fire District board will have Zoom meetings starting in December and continuing through March.
Heard a request from resident Nels Kramer for the city to continue as a fiscal sponsor for the ATV club. Kramer also updated the council about the need for repairs in some areas of the ATV trail. He has talked to the DNR and the county about solutions for fixing the areas, which are outside the city. Kramer suggested Sentenced to Serve workers could come in to clean up some of the standing timber on land owned by the city to make it more usable.
Heard an apology from a resident for a complaint about construction that hasn’t been completed due to illness. He said his son changed the building plans that were in place and left after spending the money set aside for the project and put it into a life estate. He asked the city to give a little more time as he has been dealing with medical bills and hasn’t been able to finish the project. Council member Billy Krotzer offered some of his leftover siding from a recent project at no cost. Woskia suggested the council extend this project deadline for a year due to his circumstances. Funds to help from Audrey’s Purple Dream were also suggested as a resource to help the resident.
Set a final budget meeting for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6 at city hall.
The next council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8 at city hall.