Prompted by uncertainty over COVID-19 and impact that it could have on available tax capacity in the city, the Jenkins City Council reversed course on crack sealing in the city during the Monday, May 11, regular council meeting.

In April, the council agreed on a crack sealing bid of $31,836.83 from Anderson Brothers; however, since that time the city has considered taking crack sealing into its own hands for cost savings.

“I can't believe we'll be able to have the same taxable base or revenue in the future,” said council member Charles Hoffman. “We still have to proceed forward and seek maintenance. We don't know what's going to happen.”

There was some discomfort among most council members over changing course following the April 13 meeting; however, that discomfort was outweighed by financial uncertainty. The bid, which had not been signed after the April meeting, had not been remitted to Anderson Brothers and therefore wasn't binding.

“I think that we owe it to our taxpayers to give it a chance,” said council member Donna Stricker. “We have people working with us way beyond their pay grade. They have the skills to do this and I think we should give it a chance.”

The council agreed to have crack sealing completed in-house.

The council agreed to have Gateway and Poulack streets chip sealed by Astech Surface Technologies Corporation, a company that is chip sealing for Crow Wing County and area communities. By piggybacking with the county, the city will get the same price of $22,069.30.

Finally, out of concern for finances and future stability, the council decided to table repairs to Beyer Street for a year and add the project to the street projects in the next year. The cost was estimated at $30,000-$35,000.

Finally, the council also agreed to hire Schrupp Excavating to grade its gravel roads before dust control is applied.

In other business, the council:

  • Learned from Stricker that a group in the community is working to form a local Lions club. The group is attempting to recruit up to the minimum membership number.
  • Reviewed options for adding surveillance cameras at city hall and at the park and pump house. Surveillance at city hall would cost approximately $2,500 with $1,275 for the pump house, though those quotes are not final.

Travis Grimler may be reached at 218-855-5853 or travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Travis.