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BE has a place to go

June 11, 2017
Chuck Hunt - Register Editor ( , Faribault County Register

From Sunday liquor sales to bathrooms for baseball fans, the Blue Earth City Council took action on several items that have been under discussion for some time.

Baseball fans at the fairgrounds baseball field will soon have a new amenity to use when they have to "go."

The City Council had previously discussed building a new restroom at the fairgrounds that could be used by baseball fans as early as next month.

At last Monday's meeting the council voted to proceed with construction of a new restroom building which could cost $57,000 although the final tally has not yet been determined.

The council had been studying two plans, one for an 8x20 foot wood structure, the other for a larger 10x24 foot concrete block building.

After some discussion, the council voted to proceed with the more expensive block building. The cost of the structure is estimated to be $44,000, with the city paying an additional $10,000 to $13,000 to bring in a sewer line to the location of the building.

Patrick Glimsdal, the contractor for constructing the building, was at the meeting and told the council that if they made a decision at the meeting, the new restrooms could be usable in time for a big tournament scheduled for this summer.

The council decided to pay for the cost of the building out of the profits of the liquor store fund.

They also made a quick decision on having the municipal liquor store open on Sundays for a six month trial basis.

While they had previously debated the hours of Sunday operation or whether to be open on Sundays at all the council decided, without a formal vote, to have Blue Earth Wine and Spirits be open on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on Sunday, July 2. They also decided to approve an additional $2 per hour for the part-time employees who will be manning the store on Sundays.

The plan is to track the liquor sales for six months and compare the sales to the previous year.

Also at last Monday's meeting, the council:

Discussed a list of several "nuisance properties" and heard an update on procedures to have the owners clean up the houses.

In addition, city administrator Tim?Ibisch and police chief Tom Fletcher reported that approximately 80 notices were sent out to property owners either for grass mowing or ordinance violations pertaining to trash and junk in yards.

Owners are given two weeks to clean up the property or face an administrative fine. If the fine is not paid it is assessed to the property taxes.

Heard a request from several citizens concerning the resurfacing of the tennis courts set for later this month.

Spokesperson for the group, Candy Sasse, requested the council consider adding Pickle Ball striping on the courts after they are resurfaced.

Sasse says there is a large group of Blue Earth area residents who are playing Pickle Ball five days a week at the city-owned Faribault County Fitness Center, and they cannot all get court time.

She also requested the city purchase nets, at a cost of $142 per net.

Council members and administrator Ibisch expressed concerns that having Pickle Ball lines on the court could be an issue with the high school tennis teams using the courts.

Ibisch will check with the school and the Minnesota State High School League to see if that is an issue.

The council also decided to send the matter to the Parks Committee and get a recommendation back from them.

Said OK to a new sign in front of the City Hall.

While two of the proposals were for a free-standing sign to the side of the steps into the building, the council decided to go with a sign attached to the building above the entrance.

Cost of the sign on the building was $610, compared to $2,200 to $2,800 for the free-standing ones.

Were introduced to the new City Hall employee, Tammy Davis, who will be taking over the office specialist position currently being held by Echo Roggenkamp.

Roggenkamp, who replaced Sue Hauskins who retired, will now fill the position of deputy city clerk which has been filled by Nancy Thompson, who also is retiring.

The council also learned there will be a new summer intern, Tyler Van Eck, who will be working on several special projects, including a housing condition survey.

The council also learned of the resignation of police officer Matthew Hotzler.

Discussed whether to cancel the first council meeting in July, now set for Monday, July 3, or to postpone it. No decision was made.



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