9/20/2013 11:04:00 AM Hampton council discusses intersection
by Caitlyn Strack
"Does someone have to be hit, killed, or seriously injured before something is done?" asked town member Anita Muller at Hampton's city council meeting on Tuesday, September 10, regarding speed issues near St. Mathias Church.
The meeting opened with public comment. After complaints from the public about weeds not being properly mowed by city workers, Anita and Mark Muller brought up the issue of out of control speeding, and noise disturbance at the intersection of Hampton Blvd. and Northfield Blvd. near St. Mathias church.
According to Anita Muller, the absence of crosswalks, and excessive speeding, combined with the clamor of semi trucks hitting manholes create an unpleasant residential environment. In the past, cars have sped up when the Mullers cross the road to get their mail, she said, and she also reminded the council that there are children in the area and a daycare nearby. Several other community members expressed their concern regarding the issue.
Several recommendations were made such as speed bumps, crosswalks, speed traps and a reduced speed limit of 20 mph. Dakota County Deputy Reiners addressed the issue by recommending police saturation of the area and agreeing to increased surveillance.
The preliminary tax levy for 2013 was approved. This will be the first time in ten years the taxes will be lowered.
Motion for application for Dakota County block grant was approved.
In the water/sewer report, Marlin Reinardy recommended tracking the depreciation of the water meters, and for every dollar depreciated, set aside the equivalent amount in case of water meter failure.
To make the increase easier on senior citizens, Reinardy suggested slowly increasing the tax from 1-2% a year and lowering the minimal water usage to help the elderly save money, who likely use little water, he said.
An upgrade in water meters from in-house to hand held would cost the town $7,000 plus $140 per home. A water meter typically lasts 20 years, says Reinardy, and to get maximum usage he recommended replacing the meters as each fails. Council member Knetter noted that inquiries should be made as to whether the proposed company services both the old model and new model.
After heated debate, Joe Heiman's driveway was approved with one 'nay' vote from council member Budrow. The controversy surrounded Heiman's premature start on the project before approval, and an unpaid fee. Heiman stormed out before the vote was taken.
Council member Jensrud recommended the organization of community committees to brainstorm solutions to town problems. These committees will be specific to each goal, such as more shade in the public parks. They are moving forward with plans for the project.
Next on the agenda was the Community Days donation. Children had gone around collecting donations in connection with Mayor Skog. The citizens believed the funds would go to the city.
Community members had recently asked where their donations had gone; however, there is no account of how much was donated and how it was spent. Initially, Skog claimed there were no funds collected but later amended his statement, saying that funds were collected but at the time he was acting as a business owner, not the mayor. The money went to buy children shirts for the parade, said Skog.
Jensrud alleged the shirts had been bought prior to which Skog exclaimed "What is this, gang up on the mayor day?" The funds were spent to reimburse the children, rent the bouncy castle, and buy food, said Skog. Skog maintained that he could show receipts, but he would not show them to the council "because it has nothing to do with the council."