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Emily: Bids for maintenance shop come in high

The Emily City Council found bids for construction of a new maintenance shop were higher than budgeted during its Jan. 8 regular meeting.

According to unapproved draft meeting minutes, the bid in review was for $515,560 from Nor-Son Construction and included a connection to the city's sewer system, which was estimated to cost twice as much as a subsurface sewage treatment system.

The city's budget for the project is $440,000. Council member Bill Spiess will contact Nor-Son Construction to request a revision of the bid, including an SSTS. The revised bid will be included in a special meeting agenda.

In other business Jan. 8, the council:

• Read a letter from Emily Meats owner Tracy Jones asking new council members to help downtown businesses to succeed. Jones said the council hasn't always been supportive. Jones asked the new council for assistance working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Ombudsman's Office to acquire parking for Emily Meats.

• Learned a fire and first responder all-terrain vehicle grass rig has been ordered and is expected to arrive in mid-April

• Approved volunteer fire department officer appointments with Chad Genz becoming chief and Tyson Kinkaid becoming assistant chief. The council thanked retired fire chief Kenny Roden.

• Approved the required municipal contribution to Emily Fire Relief Association of $22,326.

• Accepted donations from the Roosevelt and Lawrence Area Lakes Association of $300 to the Emily Volunteer Fire Department for equipment, $250 to the Emily First Responders for equipment and $979.74 from RALALA members also to be used for first responder equipment.

• Learned that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency offered the Emily Police Department a grant for a prescription drug drop box for public use. The police accepted the grant.

• Agreed to seek an intern through the Sourcewell internship program to help organize planning and zoning office files.

• Took an official stance not to use equipment or city personnel to sand business or church parking lots.

• Approved a snow plowing policy changing "charter school" in the previous policy to "city hall" and updating the equipment list, zone 1 additions and procedures for sidewalks, public parking lots, recycling areas and fog lines. The ordinance specifies that businesses cannot deposit snow on city sidewalks and are responsible for their own snow removal.

• Denied a request by The Northern Lights Association for a crosswalk across State Highway 6.

• Reviewed suggestions that the city purchase iPads to cut down on paper for council meetings, and update technology to allow for remote attendance of absent members. The council suggested researching requirements first.

• Approved a $650 donation to the Initiative Foundation in 2019 as budgeted.

• Approved payment of $22,061 for annual renewal of the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust Property/Casualty Insurance Policy.

• Directed Park Commissioner Jason Roos to submit the Little Emily City Beach layout to Crow Wing County Land Services and to pursue options for the city to acquire the property.

• Accepted a $25 donation to the Emily City Library from Alice Thibodeau.