By Emily Hedges
During the Oct. 17 regular meeting, the St. Boni City Council appointed Fred Keller to his fourth two-year term on the St. Boni Parks and Planning Commission. In this role, and in many others he holds around the community, Keller is eager to do his part to ensure St. Boni keeps its eye on the future while preserving its small-town charm.
“I like to pay back the community for what it has provided,” said Keller, who moved to St. Boni seven years ago. Shortly after his arrival, he joined the Planning Commission, followed by a losing bid to become mayor in 2008.
“I found out I could do more not being mayor. I could do more as a citizen than I could as an elected official,” said Keller.
Since then, Keller has become indispensible with a number of local groups, including the St. Boni Lions Club, St. Boni American Legion, and St. Boni Historical Society. Once a week he also volunteers with Abbott Northwestern Hospital. With all of his volunteer efforts, Keller still finds time to maintain a thriving Internet-based business buying and selling used commercial and industrial boilers.
Although he enjoys all of his volunteer work, Keller gets passionate when he talks about the St. Boni Area Community Development Group. Meeting once a month, the organization looks for ways to revitalize St. Boni’s downtown, grow the tax base, and bring citizens together for community activities. The group’s efforts have helped bring about the St. Boni Holiday Boutique, St. Boni Farmer’s Market, National Night Out, and a summer festival planned for 2013.
“We can’t build too many more houses in St. Boni, so our commercial district is where we can increase our tax base,” said Keller. A pumped up commercial district also creates an environment for people to come to. We are always looking for what we can do to make things better.”
Clarification from the Oct. 18 issue
It was reported in the Oct. 18 issue that the St. Boni City Council had agreed to grant a variance to allow a day care in the Shoppes of St. Boni, which is currently prohibited in this planned unit development district. Although the Council and Planning Commission members present agreed it sounded like a good idea, they did not grant the variance at the meeting. They encouraged a code amendment application, which goes to the Planning Commission and requires a public hearing. During the Oct. 17 meeting, the code amendment hearing was scheduled for Nov. 7.
In other business, the council:
• Scheduled the General Election Local Canvass Board Meeting to be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 7. The council also scheduled the delinquent utility assessments public hearing for 6:45 p.m. on Nov. 21.
• Accepted a quote from Infratech to repair several sanitary sewer defects in St. Boni for a total of $90,330.
• Is considering a request that came out of the last fire relief meeting for an electronic sign to be installed at the fire station. The Council plans to ask the Planning Commission to look into it with input from the fire department and St. Boni Lions Club.