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St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
  • City Getting a New Dump Truck, Preparing for Snow in Winter

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  • On Tuesday night, the St. James City Council approved purchase of a used dump truck to replace their 1982 model, passed special assessment certificate resolutions for three properties they've razed, and heard a recap from Mayor Gary Sturm regarding his “Coffee with the Mayor” meeting earlier this week. Raymond Hector, street and parks superintendent, told the council he found two used dump trucks “that would fit our needs.” The first quote--and the one the council accepted--was $69,401 from Kohls-Weelberg Ford and Crysteel, while the second was $69,500 from DTI Trucks. These came in well under the $125,000 the department had budgeted for such a purpose. Hector added that they would try and trade in the '82 model, but he didn't expect it to fetch a munificent sum. The council also passed resolutions certifying special assessments on three condemned properties. The residence located at 12 8th Ave. N. was declared a hazard by the court and demolished by the city at a cost of $16,431. On Tuesday, they certified to the county that cost against the parcel as a special assessment to be paid with the real estate taxes due and payable in 2014 and after until paid in full. They followed the same procedure for the razed property located at 520 3rd Ave. S., in the sum of $17,404. The third property, located at 300 3rd Ave. N., had already been forfeited to the state of Minnesota for failure to pay real estate taxes and special assessments. Since the city had outstanding special assessments in the amount of $9,469, they certified that amount gainst the parcel as a special assessment to be paid with the real estate taxes due and payable in 2014 and after until paid in full. The mayor also briefed the council on some issues that came up during his “Coffee with the Mayor” meeting Monday afternoon. For example, at that meeting, they debated the value of a mini-roundabout that would be put in place as part of work on Hwy. 4 in 2016. Sturm said a four-way stop--though preferable--is not an option, so the choices are a roundabout or a signal light. He encouraged the council to pass a resolution soon asking the state to retract the mini-roundabout. The roundabout would cost the city six parking spaces downtown, while the city's portion of a payment for a signal light would be $195,000. “I've only had two or three people come up to me in support (of roundabouts),” he said Monday. “Everyone else is opposed.” For more details on "Coffee with the Mayor" and Tuesday's City Council meeting, please see Thursday's print edition of the St. James Plaindealer.
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