Cologne Council approves public services contracts

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Köln, Germany Lord Mayor Jürgen Roters receives gifts from Cologne, Minn. in a video segment produced by WDR journalist Frank Piotrowski. (Submitted photo)

by ADAM GRUENEWALD
NYA Times

In preparation for the upcoming year, Cologne Council approved several public services contracts during their Monday, Oct. 22 meeting.
Among them were the snow removal with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, a contract with Carver County for police services and a prosecution contract for Carver County.
Council members, with Jeff McInnis absent, approved all three contracts with minor discussion.
The Minnesota DOT will again plow Main Street and Highway 284 with the city per the annual contract, according to City Administrator John Hendel.
“The state takes care of 284, but we help remove all the snow that is there and take it away,” he said. “They pay us for that.”
Carver County Sheriff’s Office will continue to provide the city with police services at a rate of $39,313 per year, a increase from $35,984 in 2013.
The 9 percent increase is attributed to the patrol vehicle and the employment contract that was approved and law enforcement officers were working without a contract for the past two years. The 2014 amount is comparable to the 2012 amount of $35,212.
The amount of patrol hours will remain the same, Hendel said.
A question from Council member Kyle Evenski led to a discussion on alternate options, but limiting coverage was not recommended.
“We’ve done that, but we’re pretty skeleton right now as far as what we want covered,” said Mayor Matt Lein. He added services are always on call and generally provide more hours than what are in the contract.
Members also approved prosecution contract from Carver County Attorney’s Office for $1,705.90, down $249.03 from 2013.
In other news, council members reviewed the information received from Köln, Germany, regarding a possible Sister City relationship.
Journalist Frank Piotrowski of Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) or West German Broadcasting, had visited Cologne in  early October, bringing back messages from the city of Cologne.
In the third video segment produced by Piotrowski, who provided a translation, Lord Mayor Jürgen Roters responded to the possibility of a “town twinning” with Cologne and his city of more than 1 million.
“When we struggled for a twinning with Beijing 25 years ago, many people thought we were being megalomaniac but in the meantime it has been revealed that it works excellently,” said Roters. “Sometimes, the smaller brothers deserve the attention and that is the way it is with our little sister Cologne, who we will take to our heart.”
Roters, who also said his greetings to the citizens of Cologne, said a packet of gifts is on his way back to Minnesota.
“Dear colleagues from Cologne, I am looking forward to a personal encounter – big Cologne meets small Cologne,” he said. “ I am pretty sure we are going to get along quite well because people from Cologne keep together, be it in Minnesota or here in the Rhineland.”
To view the WDR videos, visit http://www1.wdr.de/mediathek/video/index.html, then type Cologne in the “suchen” bar.

Contact Adam Gruenewald at adam.gruenewald@ecm-inc.com.

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