The Human Services department of Watonwan County moved to Marian Hall this month, prior to receiving approval from the St. James City Council.
At the regularly scheduled Tuesday, March 5 meeting, city council members approved the use of the of Marian Hall and issued a special use permit to Watonwan County.
"I appreciate the council's action on this, we had to make the move quickly and we weren't aware of the permit requirements," said Watonwan County Commissioner Dave Holmgren, who met with city council on behalf of the county.
The resolution to issue a special use permit for the use of the public building included solutions to possible parking issues that could arise from the added use of the building. Watonwan County would be responsible for the added signage on the road and the costs thereof.
The Human Services department will be using the building while renovations are taking place on their old building. Renovations could last up to one and a half years.
Council Member Josh Haseman missed the March 5 meeting and will be missing meetings until the end of April or May. Haseman joined the fire department and is receiving training on the regular council meeting nights.
St. James Police Chief Mark Carvatt introduced new hire Kyle Jones to the St. James City Council. Jones grew up in Big Lake Minnesota and started Monday in the police department.
"I'm excited to be here, so far I love it," said Jones.
In the 2013 budget discussions, $10,000 was budgeted for water tower power washing. Power washing the outside of the water tower is long overdue, since it has been about 10 years since the building was last cleaned.
St. James City Council received bids and accepted the low bid of $4,200 from Water Tower Wash. Sturm said they have used this company in the past and were satisfied with their work.
There was some discussion about re-painting the tower so that smudges would not show as easily, but the cost of that was not financially viable, at $100,000.
The money saved in using Water Tower Wash as the cleaning company will likely be invested in the repairing of water mains – seven water mains have broke this year alone. The latest water main break was on Sunday.
The street and electric departments received bids for trucks from four different companies. City Council approved the purchase of two trucks from Madelia Ford – the low bidder.
The street department truck will cost about $17,624 after a $5,100 trade deduction. The truck they are purchasing is a 2013 F350.
The light department truck will cost $21,298 after a $4,500 trade deduction. That truck is a 2013 F Series SD.
The parks department was praised for their handling of the snowfall over the weekend and into the week. Drivers were out at 3 a.m. some mornings to ensure the roads were safe to travel.
Page 2 of 2 - Consent items were passed unanimously without much discussion and included:
• Payment of claims and ACH withdrawals
• 2012 special use and occupancy workshop
• Residential plumbing and plan review workshop
• Fire investigation conference
• Data privacy training
• Ambulance non-allowance payment
The meeting was short, lasting less than 15 minutes and is available online at the St. James city website.