7/24/2014 10:23:00 AM $171,289 for new front-end loader
by Ken Haggerty
The Cannon Falls city council approved the purchase of a new John Deere 624K 4WD front-end loader, plow and wing for the Public Works Department at the July 15 meeting.
The current loader is on year 14 and in need of costly repairs, according to Tom Bergeson, Public Works director. The equipment was originally scheduled for a ten-year life.
The purchase is made through the State Bid Program, which Bergeson said provides 30% savings. The new purchase comes with a seven-year drive train warranty.
Bergeson calls the loader a critical piece in snow removal and is used for loading trucks throughout the year.
The motion passed without discussion under the consent agenda. Public Works commission had approved the purchase.
Public Works sold an older one-ton pick-up in the State auction for $6,500, a price Bergeson thought was very good.
Freeborn Manor parking
Bergeson and Police Chief Jeff McCormick said they are aware of concerns of neighbors about on-street parking around the Freeborn Manor apartments on 224 Hoffman Street West, a block east of the Fire Station.
McCormick said they have issued some citations and executed a tow recently. Bergeson said the city will be painting the curbs to more clearly mark the no-parking areas.
Cars have been parking in front or too near driveway accesses and too close to the intersection near the apartment complex.
Neighbors say cars are also parking on both sides of 3rd Street North near the complex, which, while legal as currently posted, leaves very little room for traffic to pass through and could impede fire or rescue equipment.
McCormick said Freeborn used to be just for over 55 and disabled residents but had a two-year waiver that allowed them to rent to some younger people with low-income. McCormick said those younger people in their 20s often end up with multiple vehicles per listed resident. He said management has trespassed some people from the property who are not residents, but those people often end up parking on the street and hanging out visiting residents. He thinks the resident population is now returning to a less younger population.
McCormick said there is now an on-site property manager who has been good to work with and addresses some concerns from police and neighbors.
City will work reserve down
The council formally approved a previously discussed goal of getting the city reserve fund down to about 50%.
It is currently at 76%, 66% when a portion of the reserve earmarked for a library payment is pulled out.
The city will work on setting a preliminary budget for 2015 in the next month with a budget workshop meeting on August 5 after the regular meeting.