Truman nets $1.4M from state

TRUMAN – A bonding bill passed by the Minnesota Legislature in the waning hours of its recent session contained a financial windfall for Truman.

The bill included more than $1.4 million for the completion of the final phase of the city’s storm water project.

“We’re just waiting for Gov. Dayton to sign it,” said Mayor Lynn Brownlee.

The city’s engineer, Greg Mitchell of Bolton & Menk, and the city’s bond consultant, Bill Fahey of Northland Securities, were on hand Monday to advise the City Council on a timeline and additional funding for the project.

Phase III, or the final portion of the project, involves portions of First Street South and Second Avenue East, including a section of reconstruction. New water lines, sewer lines and street surface are planned, with an estimated cost of $2.8 million.

The bonding bill, if signed, “will cover roughly half of the cost of the project,” Mitchell said.

The city also can apply for low-interest financing for the remainder through the Public Facilities Authority.

“We should get the design done this fall and have it ready for bids early next year,” Mitchell said. “Construction wouldn’t start until May [2015]. For 10 blocks, it will take from May to September, and probably spill into October.”

The city won’t qualify for any additional state grant money, but it shouldn’t have a problem qualifying for a low-interest loan, Fahey said. He called the city’s credit rating of AA- “fabulous.”

Fahey also encouraged the council to keep the public informed throughout the process, from loan applications through the construction phase.

Turning to other business, the council, albeit reluctantly, denied a rezoning request from Carol and Orville White, who wanted two and a half lots of Block 23 changed from residential to general business to put up storage units.

“It’s a good idea, but a bad location,” said council member Kathy Hendricksen.

“Our hands our tied,” said council member Jake Ebert.

Brownlee said the council had no choice but to use “due diligence and follow the code.”

In other action, the council:

o Hired Beth Kotewa as head lifeguard at the swimming pool.

o Set an age limit that children must be at least 10 years old to be at the pool without an adult.

o Hired Taylor Freeman as an EMT, pending a background check.

o Hired Ciera Drevlow and Christine Hansen, with Bailey May as alternate, to provide maintenance at the ball diamonds from June through August.

o Approved a low bid of $3,600 from Whitmore’s Painting and More of Fairmont to remove wallpaper, prep and paint the dental office in the city-owned Truman Clinic building.