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Archive - 2014

September 10th

Brownton City Council adopts social host ordinance on 3-2 vote

The Brownton City Council passed a social host ordinance on a 3-2 vote at its Sept. 2 meeting.
The ordinance is similar to one adopted in Glencoe, said Police Chief Ken Bauer. McLeod County also has a similar ordinance, Bauer said, but its jurisdiction doesn’t extend into the city limits.
The ordinance had been proposed at the Brownton City Council’s August meeting and had been tabled until September so that Council members could review the language.

Stewart Council again expresses dissatisfaction with 2012 project

The Stewart City Council continued Monday night to express dissatisfaction with the quality of work on its 2012-13 street and utility improvement project.
Mayor Jason Peirce launched the issue as the City Council considered pay requests for the project.
Peirce said the project is still not completely finished, and the City Council has set more than one deadline and is still getting requests for extensions on the project.
“Maybe we should pay them the way the do their work,” commented Peirce.

Brownton looks to reconstruct failing storm sewers in 2016

The city of Brownton will not deviate from its plan to begin replacing and repairing storm sewer in 2016, the City Council decided by concensus at its Sept. 2 meeting.
At its August meeting, the Council heard from its maintenance department that about six blocks of storm sewer either had collapsed or was nearing collapse, and had asked its city engineer to review the issue.
John Rodeberg of Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH), Inc., said Sept. 2 that the storm sewer is, indeed, “in really, really bad shape.”

Landlords ask Stewart City Council to relax its rental inspection ordinance

Landlords in Stewart pleaded with the Stewart City Council Sept. 3 to relax its rental inspection ordinance.
The City Council held a public hearing that evening on changes it already is proposing for its ordinance after hearing earlier complaints.
Landlords Keith and Debra Lorensen said they are unhappy with being asked to replace windows that they replaced just three or four years ago.
A requirement of the rental ordinance is that egress windows “must have a minimum net clearing of five square feet” to allow escape in case of an emergency.

Open meetings, not complaint sessions

The primary purpose of an open meeting — be it a city council, school board, or county board — is to conduct public business in an open setting. These government bodies are required by law to do so, and the public is welcome to observe the process. They are not, however, required to allow time for public comment. Many do reserve time on the regular agenda to address any concerns from the public as a courtesy to their constituents.

Another birthday, a new driver’s license

Upon getting her new driver’s license, a woman remarked, “You could not have found a better way to get me to obey the law. I have no desire to show this photo to anyone.”
I read something similar to that above tidbit in a Reader’s Digest several years ago.

Weekend in the woods tests courage

I’d like to consider myself a courageous person, especially after backpacking through Central America for six weeks, climbing towering Mayan ruins in Guatemala, snorkeling with sting rays and nurse sharks off the coast of Belize and zip-lining through the Costa Rican rainforest, miles above ground.
But after being left alone for 20 minutes in the middle of the Minnesota north woods Saturday evening, I realized how big of a wuss I am.

Squirrels do play while we’re away

Ever wonder what goes on in your neighborhood when you are at work? Now that I’m retired, I get a good idea of what my neighborhood squirrels have been doing all these years.
Here are several observations:
• I heard the extra loud metallic clunk of a nut falling on one of the vehicles parked in my driveway. I looked out the kitchen window, up to my elbows in dishwater at the time, and there he was — a squirrel sitting on the steering wheel on my son’s 1953 Ford police paddy wagon.

Remember those who reformed unfair labor conditions

To the Editor:
The last holiday of the summer, the beginning of the school session, the last “hurrah” for summer activities — is this what Labor Day means to you?

First Day at Helen Baker Elementary