NYA council approves purchase of new public works truck

Due to difficult economic times, funding for many capital improvement items for the City of Norwood Young America has been delayed.

However, the city council agreed to move ahead with the scheduled purchase of one capital improvement, a 2012 Ford 550 one-ton truck, during its meeting on Monday, Oct. 22. The truck will replace the city public works department’s current 2001 Ford 350 pickup.

The truck purchase was discussed during budget workshops in both 2011 and 2012, but council members ultimately decided to keep funding for the vehicle in the budget. A total of $57,328 had been saved up for the purchase, and the cost of the new truck, which is a demo model, was $54,573.

Public Works Director Brent Aretz told the council that the city saved about $4,000 by purchasing a demo vehicle rather than a brand new truck from Midway Ford Commercial through the Minnesota State Bid Program.

While the city’s F-350 only has 53,000 miles on it, Aretz said those are hard miles that included snowplowing, hauling and other heavy duty uses that took a toll. The new truck has 1,000 miles on it, and includes a box instead of the plain pickup configuration. The box will improve material hauling and street prewetting capabilities before snowfalls.

“This truck will do everything the 2001 F-350 did plus more,” Aretz told the council.

In other business, the council:
• Viewed a permit count for 2012, which indicated that six permits for new single family homes had been issued through September of this year. The total value of those homes exceeded $1.1 million.

Those permits represented a significant increase over the past several years. In 2009 the city did not issue any new single-family home permits. In 2010 there were three new permits and in 2011 there were two new single-family home permits.

• Approved a request from Ryan Finnerty and John Barnes, owners of The Pour House Pub, to allow a 2 a.m. closing time and prorate the $500 license fee to $333.33 to reflect the license period.

Unkle Thirsty’s is the only other bar in town with a 2 a.m. closing time. All patrons must vacate the premises by 2:30 a.m. when a 2 a.m. closing time is in effect.

• Approved the resignation of two longtime firefighters and thanked them for their service. Dan Stender spent 30 years on the fire department, and Mark Thon served for 22 years. Both retirements will be effective at the turn of the year.

“We appreciate the time and effort they have devoted to the valuable service that firefighters give to the community,” said City Administrator Tom Simmons.

• Approved reduced water and sewer connection fees for residents on Oak Lane, which will be annexed into the city on Jan. 1, 2013. The residents on Oak Lane have up to 10 years to connect to city water and sewer services, but as incentive to connect sooner, the city is offering reduced rates through 2014. If residents take advantage of that opportunity total savings in 2013 would equate to $3,650.

After 2014, Oak Lane residents would pay whatever rates were in place at that time, unless the council decides to offer reduced rates again.

The possibility of offering a reduced rate was first discussed at a previous meeting since the city is offering reduced rates as an incentive for new residential construction.

• Appointed three additional election judges — Mark Lagergren, Kaarin Foede and Vicky Halliday Schultz — to ensure adequate coverage for the Nov. 6 General Election.

• Approved a payment of $60,567.78 to Wm. Mueller & Sons, Inc. for work completed on the Faxon Road Improvement Project.

• Approved a motion calling for a public hearing regarding the 2013 fee schedule. The hearing will take place at the Nov. 26 council meeting.

• Approved a joint assessment service agreement with Carver County.