In a relatively brief meeting, the NYA City Council organized for 2013 on Monday evening, Jan. 14.
The council approved a number of contracts for services, welcomed three new firefighters to the fire department and discussed costs for a new public works truck during the session.
One portion of the meeting that did not proceed according to regular routine was the approval of the contract for city attorney services. After soliciting requests for city attorney services last fall, the city received nine proposals and decided to make a change for 2013.
Current city attorney Al Albrecht addressed the council with five reasons to maintain his services. He told the council that his basic services were available at a lower cost than the proposed new firm, that he was a local businessman, that he provides free legal advice to the fire department, that he and his associates represent nine cities around Carver and McLeod Counties, and that he had represented the city for the past 30 years.
Despite that case, the council unanimously elected to change firms and award a contract to Rupp, Anderson, Squires and Waldspurger for 2013.
Mayor Tina Diedrick thanked Albrecht for his service but said the new firm from Minneapolis offered depth and expertise in a variety of issues that the city has been dealing with. Attorney Jay Squires attended the meeting, said that he had been practicing municipal law since 1989, and said his firm focused primarily on municipal law.
Diedrick said that she and councilor Jim Keller, along with City Administrator and Community Development Director Chelsea Alger, had interviewed four of the nine firms who made proposals, and selected Rupp, Anderson, Squires and Waldspurger as the best fit for the city’s needs.
In addition to the attorney contract, the council also approved a building inspection services contract with Metro West Inspections with no change in fees from 2012.
The council also agreed to contract with Bolton & Menk for city engineering services, which included a 3.3 percent aggregate increase for 2013. Over the past five years, increases for engineering services have averaged 1.8 percent per year.
In other business, the council:
• Approved the appointment of three new firefighters for the NYA Fire Department. Melissa Pasquarette, Rollin Beaver and Noah Gansen will join the department as long as they pass driver background checks and physical and agility tests.
Those three firefighters would bring the department’s roster to 28 members. The department generally aims to maintain about 30 members. A note to the council pointed out that the NYA Fire Department covers the largest fire district in Carver County, serving all or parts of five townships along with the city.
• Tabled a request from the city public works department to purchase a new four-wheel drive Ford F-550 truck to replace the city’s current two-wheel drive 1999 F-250, which is experiencing mechanical issues.
The new truck has a cost of $36,454, and the department would like to also install a service crane and body at a cost of $42,810.36 for a total cost of $79,264.36.
Employee Todd Karels informed the council that the new truck could be used to pull and service lift station pumps, a process that is generally contracted out at present for an approximate cost of about $2,000 per year.
The city had budgeted to purchase a new truck in 2012 and has $92,951 available in the water and sewer funds for such a purpose, but council members declined to approved the purchase until options for used equipment were also explored to see if acceptable equipment could be obtained for a lower price.
• Received a building permit summary that showed seven permits for new single family homes were issued during 2012 for a total valuation of $1,283,544.
• Approved an organizational document that, among other appointments, named council Carol Lagergren the acting mayor and The Norwood Young America Times as the city’s official newspaper.
• Approved a joint powers agreement with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on behalf of the prosecuting attorney and policing department.
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