The Butterfield City Council met in what was a relatively quick regular meeting Monday, Aug. 12, discussing the Butterfield elevator project which is projected to take place in the near future.
The elevator project was presented by Bob Cunningham and Ken Hendersen. Their request to put a tube under a city street to transfer bushels of corn to a bin was accepted unanimously, but not without some discussion.
The Butterfield City Council had a few questions for the two land owners who attended the meeting Monday. They explained the 75 hp motor will only run while the dryer is running and they believe that motor will not add to the noise that they dryer already puts out. For council members, noise was a major issue.
"Our big concern is noise level," said Council Member Howard Madson. "You have to remember you are within half a block of residential."
Madson explained to fellow council members that an electrician had informed him earlier these types of installments can be heard as far as a half mile away. Council members believed a machine making under 80 decibels of noise would be adequate for the space, but neither Cunningham nor Hendersen could give a definite answer about what the decibel level would be of the machine.
Instead, Cunningham told the council that the machine would be much quieter than having trucks drive corn from one bin to the other all night. He also added that he was planning on keeping the engine inside the shed and adding a muffler to cut down on sound.
The elevator will be used, at most, about two weeks a year or 200 hours total. In order to make the connection from one bin to the other, they will be cutting about one foot to 15 inches from the road. Cunningham and Hendersen agreed to repair and maintain that portion of the road following the project. They also agreed to run the machinery strictly during the day if an issue arises about noise level of the machinery at night.
Council members also discussed the golf cart ordinance in order to clarify item three in the ordinance which states: "The operation is from one-half hour after sunrise to one-half hour before sunset."
Council members amended the ordinance to allow golf carts with one manufactured headlight to drive after dark. There was some discussion about adding a taillight to the resolution, but council members felt the slow moving vehicle reflector was sufficient in town.
"You've already put your slow moving vehicle sticker on the back and that's highly reflective," said Council Member Doug Meyer.
The city will require all carts planning on driving at night to have at the very least that reflective sticker on the back of their cart as well as one manufactured headlight.
Page 2 of 2 - July 30, Special Meeting
Several items were discussed in a special meeting which took place July 30 in the Butterfield City Hall building.Topping that list was the 2012 audit report from Mike Burkhardt.
Burkhardt reported to the city council that nothing was materially wrong with the record and cash revenue went down while the city expenses were also down. The addition of the Watonwan trail last year was the cause of this fluctuation in the budget.The total excess of revenue for the city came in at about $66,000. When asked if this number was something to be concerned about, the auditor told the council "no."
"You're pretty good considering the projects you've been running," said Burkhardt. "It's about average, maybe at this stage a little higher because of the projects."
The auditor continued saying the books were in balance and that the highest debt load could be found in water and sewer, which he expects should balance out within the next ten years.
"I think the city is ok," said Burkhardt. "You've got pretty good cash flow."
Next up on the special meeting agenda was the council decision to set rent on the EDA apartments. Council members agreed to these terms: rent will be set at $525 for the first six months and $550 a month after that, with sewer, water and garbage included. This decision was in place on all units Aug. 1.
With the loss of full-time Maintenance Worker Keith Pankratz, the city has been relying on their newly hired part time maintenance employee. In order to keep up with the added responsibilities of the position, the council approved a wage increase from $8.50 an hour to $10.40 an hour unanimously.
The council thanked him for the extra work he has been doing and agreed that his previous pay was falling well short of what it ought to have been for the amount of work he was finishing for the city.
The council also took steps to fill in the full-time position by agreeing that the position should be advertised at $15 an hour with insurance rates similar to that of the city clerk. Council members will look into getting former Maintenance Manager Pankratz to take care of the water and sewer systems part-time since Pankratz is one of only a few workers with the necessary qualifications and licensure to maintain the plants.
In other news from the special meeting, Council Member Madson will be paid $10.40 an hour for 14 hours of maintenance work he did for the city during former Maintenance Manager Pankratz's absence.