Waconia recognizes staff for years of service

Five city employees whose combined time with the city of Waconia equates to a century of service were recognized during the Waconia City Council meeting held on Monday, March 18.
A new city program was started this year to recognize all staff members for their years of service to the city, with milestones being 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service.
At the meeting, firefighters Aaron Sorensen and Kevin Vogel and administrative assistant Wannetta Stranget were honored for 15 years of service, firefighter Adam Weiland was honored for 20 years of service, and Randy Sorensen, who has served the city in many capacities — including maintenance worker, firefighter, Public Works director, fire chief, and assistant fire chief — was honored for 35 years of service.
“I’m pleased to be here tonight to recognize city staff for years of service to the community and to the city,” said Shane Fineran, assistant city administrator, who explained that all of the employees who reached certain milestones throughout the year would be recognized during an all-staff program held on March 20.
In addition to the employees already named, other honorees included Doug Bode, Jeff Hilgers and Jennifer Mielke (10 years of service) and Matthew Jaeger, Andrew Carlson, David Shaw, William Goergen, Drew Gulden, Bruce Weinzierl, Margaret Stivers and Brian Roy (5 years of service).
All five of the employees honored at the meeting received a framed certificate. Sorensen also received a special plaque and Mayor Jim Nash read a proclamation in appreciation of Sorensen’s 35 years of service as an employee of the city of Waconia and his dedication and commitment to the citizens of Waconia.
“The people that are being honored here tonight and all of our employees later this week that are being honored, they’re the people who are plowing your streets, putting out the fires, making sure your water is in good shape, your streets are in good shape, and the work that we do is really carried out by them,” Nash said.
“They are a fantastic group of people that we rely on every day and you do, too, as citizens, so we’re very, very grateful for them,” Nash continued. “Thanks to each of you. You do make our city a great place to live in your service. We appreciate it very, very much.”
The meeting was also the last council meeting for Councilor Jim Sanborn, who recently moved out of Ward I and thus had to resign his position on the council. During board reports, all of the council members took a turn thanking Sanborn for his service and wished him the best.
“Thanks so much for your years of service,” Nash said during his report. “I have appreciated our friendship and the hard work you’ve put in. I appreciate just how seriously you take your job and how willingly you give of your time to the community.”
Three citizens — Lynn Ayers, Tom Danielson and Don Osmundson — expressed interest in filling Sanborn’s seat. The three candidates interviewed with the city council on Saturday, March 23. According to City Administrator Susan Arntz, Ayers received the appointment and will be sworn in during the council meeting on Monday, April 1.
In other recent council matters:
• The 15th annual Lake Waconia Band Festival will be held on Saturday, June 15. Staging of the bands will begin around 4 p.m. with the parade starting at 6 p.m. The parade will last about two and a half hours and the route will remain the same as it was in recent years.
• The Waconia Fire Department will hold its Spring Pancake, French Toast and Sausage Breakfast at the fire station from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 7. Tickets are $6 in advance (talk to a firefighter) or $7 at the door (children age 5 and under are admitted free).
• The city’s winter parking rules end on Monday, April 1. Starting on that date, vehicles may be left on the street overnight.
• At its meeting on March 4, the council approved a $10,000 transfer from the general fund to the ice arena fund to cover a cash deficiency in the ice arena fund, which received less than budgeted for revenues in the areas of “Rental Fees” and “Registration, Programs and Lessons.”
The transfer was related to the city’s 2012 financial statements and was necessary because Government Accounting Standards do not allow a government fund to have a negative cash balance at the end of a fiscal year. The city transferred a total of $505,000 from the general fund to the ice arena fund for fiscal year 2012.
• Firefighter Mike Gieseke offered his resignation effective April 1. He joined the department in April 1995 and has served the community for the past 18 years. The council accepted his resignation and the city is looking to fill the vacancy.
• The council recently approved two permanent and temporary easement agreements and Memorandums of Understanding related to the Highway 284 / 10th Street Improvement Project. The properties are located at 38 10th Street W and 8890 Highway 284.
• The council recently approved a developer’s agreement with Ryland Group Inc. for the Interlaken 6th Addition. The addition includes 37 single family residential home lots.

Contact Todd Moen at [email protected]