City accepts second bid for dump ground

MONDAY, AUGUST 28, 2017 — One month ago the city received three bids for a parcel of land which used to contain the city’s landfill. Nearly everyone was surprised to see the high bid of $36,000. As with most things that seem too good to be true this bid also proved to be such. The people who made the high bid have since reconsidered and have withdrawn their bid citing personal health issues as their rational. The Tower City Council moved to accept the second highest bid of $32,500 for the cities former dump ground property. Mayor Josh Carlson reported that the city consulted with its attorney, Andrew Peterson, and determined that the best course of action was to simply accept the second bid as all of the bids were announced to the public when they were opened in July and to call for bids a second time. The council proceeded with the recommended action and unanimously accepted Geoffrey Griffin’s bid for $32,500. The council also determined, as part of the motion passed, that it would allow Griffin until September 15 to close on the property or the city would move on to the low bid of $30,509 made by Dave Rose.

The city council also unanimously approved the second reading of Ordinance 82K which clarifies the steps a land owner needs to complete to obtain a building permit in the city. The ordinance will be adopted as soon as the city publishes it.

Jason Chopp, SEH, Inc., reported to the city council that bids are ready to be published for infrastructure work and developing seven new campsites at HooDoo Point Campground. It is expected that all work can be completed while the campground is closed and before it opens in mid May, Chopp reported. Minor details such as seeding new turf can then be accomplished while the campground is open in June. The city was also cautioned to expect some additional costs as additional sewer leaks were discovered when SEH and the city were completing testing earlier this month.

The Tower Airport commission has obtained a Minnesota Commissioner of Transportation grant for 75 percent of eligible maintenance and operating costs in 2018 and 2019. The total reimbursement is capped at $42,886. The city council unanimously approved a resolution accepting the grant.

The city council accepted the gift of a 2004 Volkswagen which will be used as an airport courtesy car. Marvin Haaviston informed the city council that he has sold his airport hangar to Greg Junek, Jackie Monahan-Junek and Joseph Junek, Ely, on August 16 and was now requesting that the city transfer his lease to the new owners. Unanimous approval was made by the city council approving the lease transfer. The city also acknowledge the receipt of correspondence from Adventure Seaplanes North, announcing its Fall Color tour Open House and Fly In to be held September 23 and 24.

In anticipation of the upcoming Minnesota January 1, 2108 minimum wage increase to $9.65, the city council unanimously approved an immediate per-hour increase to $10.00 for the part-time employee who conducts the city’s grass cutting.

In other action, the Tower City Council:

• Approved the recommendation of the Planing and Zoning commission regarding resolution of the 205 North Third Street fence issue

• Approved the new Tower-Breitung Wastewater Board joint powers agreement and by-laws.

• Accepted the donation of two vehicles to the Tower Fire Department , with a combined value of $1,300, from Tim Mickle. The vehicles will be used by the department for emergency extrication training

• Accepted a Department of Natural Resources, Divisions of Parks and Trails, grant in the amount of $1,725. The grant will be used on the city’s Howard Wagoner Ski Trail, south of the city

• Approved the Tower Fire Department’s acceptance of  $2,110 training reimbursement money from the Minnesota Board of Firefighter training and Education. Fire Chief Steve Altenberg reported that although the money was about one-half of the amount received in earlier years, the funds were cut for all communities this year.