Mayor's Message April 15, 2021

 Message from Mayor Whalen

April 15, 2021

Happy spring! Although it doesn’t feel like spring right now, things are starting to green up and summer is right around the corner.

It’s hard to believe we’re already into the second quarter of 2021!

Here’s a quick recap of what the Council has been doing so far this year.

We have reviewed our Solar Ordinance, the Nuisance Ordinance, and our Special Assessment policy.

The Planning Commission reviewed the Solar Ordinance and made some recommendations for revision. The Council then reviewed it and with a few minor modifications sent it back to the Planning Commission. Because this is land use related, it requires a public hearing, which will take place at the Planning Commission on Monday, April 26. If you’re interested this is a great opportunity to weigh in and give us your input and ideas.

The Council has also been reviewing, modifying and updating our Nuisance Ordinance. This ordinance does not require a public hearing, but once all the changes have been made it will be on a future Council agenda for approval.

The discussion surrounding the Special Assessment policy was mainly regarding interest rates and some other minor updates and revisions.

The Council continues to have discussions on how to improve broadband and internet services in the city, particularly in our rural areas of Minnetrista. This is a standing agenda item at our second work session of each month. As I mentioned in one of my previous messages, Mediacom received a grant to expand their network to several areas in Minnetrista. However this will only service 80 more homes, which is still far short of providing broadband for all unserved homes. Staff has contacted numerous providers and will be presenting some ideas and possible options at our work session this coming Monday.

We put our 2021 road projects out for bid in mid-February, and unfortunately the bids came back unexpectedly high. At a special meeting in March, we approved having the project split into two; separating the utilities work from the road construction work. We’re hopeful this will generate more interest from road construction companies and result in lower bids.

So far, our new Southwest water tower is on track and on budget. Construction was halted during the winter months for weather reasons. However, work did proceed at the vendor’s plant in Indiana over the winter with the construction of the water tower tank bowl. The bowl will arrive in pieces sometime this month and be assembled on site and eventually placed on top of the tower later this year.

Last year due to COVID we canceled all of our public events. So I’m happy to announce that we will be holding our spring clean-up day once again in May. Mark your calendars for May 8 from 8:00am until 3:00pm

The other main public event the city has hosted is Trista Day. However again due to the pandemic, for everyone’s safety we have postponed it - for now. We will continue to evaluate the situation and possibly hold it in the fall. We’ll keep you posted.

Your Mayor,