Cologne council members consider large expenses

NT - Cologne Council donation
Cologne Mayor Matt Lein accepts a $3,000 check from Anna Wickenhauser on behalf of the Cologne Lions Club. Some of the funds will be used to replace community room tables donated by the Lions in the past. (NYA Times staff photo by Adam Gruenewald)


NYA Times


Cologne City Council members considered the pursuit of a couple of expensive items during their meeting on Monday, April 21 but ultimately decided to hold off decisions until more information becomes apparent. Council members revisited their discussion on computers for city offices and also considered a roof project for the Public Works Building.

With the discontinuation of Windows XP support in April, which was announced by Microsoft, Cologne will need to replace approximately eight computers to prevent viruses and tech issues.

City Administrator John Hendel said they were reminded of the change by NYA-based Techstar IT Solutions, which provides computer services and server support to the city.

The total cost to the city would be $4,799.04 for six computers, because two of the machines would be paid for out of the Cologne Fire Department budget and from the Relief Association gambling account.

Council members questioned having just one bid for the purchase and also the necessity of making it right now.

“If somebody is up on how the technology is truly going to happen,” said Hendel, “and if really one day they are going to stop working or we’re going to get 15 viruses on our machines, or years from now we could be using those machines, I don’t know.”

Mayor Matt Lein advocated for the upgrade.

“The likelihood of getting a virus on a non-supported machine is significantly higher,” he said.

Hendel added that Techstar recommended against doing a software upgrade because of the time involved and his thought that the city should stick with Techstar to ensure connectivity with the server and cloud and support.

“They have told us before when we asked for help that wasn’t bought through them that they don’t support stuff not purchased through them,” said Hendel.

Council members Jeff McInnis and Kyle Evenski both advocated for getting a second bid.

“I’m just hesitant taking the first bid we get for something because it doesn’t always mean it’s the best one,” said McInnis. “There has to be another company where we can get an idea.”

It was agreed that the council will get another bid and look into the cost of computers before making a final decision.

Council members also discussed the need for repairs for the Public Works Building.

Hendel explained that during the project to replace the doors workers noticed other areas of concern on the building. For example, workers noticed about 1.5-inch crack on the north side of the roof and 1-inch crack on the south side as well as separation on the east side.

“Right now that building is pretty exposed to rain, snow, ice and the environments,” he said. “That’s our main public works building that houses some pretty expensive equipment.”

The city purchased the building from  Carver County over 10 years ago and before that time, the membrane roof was sprayed with a foam insulation.

Council members requested more information on the history, including a possible reroofing project that might have occurred when the city purchased it, as well as the original purchase agreement.

In other news, council members approved two public works and one administrative assistant for the summer, renewed annual liquor licenses for businesses, and accepted a $6,860.91 check from the Lutheran Community Foundation and a $3,000 donation from the Cologne Lions.

The Cologne Clean Up Day will be Saturday, May 3, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with items accepted at the city of Cologne Public Works Shop at 304 Louis Street West. Recycling items are accepted at no charge while others are accepted for a fee. Visit for more information. The Cologne City Council will next meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 5.


Contact Adam Gruenewald at