Blue Earth has plan to hire new leader

BLUE EARTH – Blue Earth City Council has approved a hiring process for a new city administrator.

Wendell Sande of South Central Service Cooperative says the next step is to advertise nationally for applicants.

Sande will meet with a search committee to go over the process. Mayor Rick Scholtes announced he, Councilman Russ Erichsrud, Blue Earth Area Superintendent Evan Gough, Chad Phillips, Kara Drake, Julie Loge and Bill Sayer will serve on the committee.

From Aug. 18-22, Sande will review and rank applications and make preliminary checks, and select applicants for the first round of interviews.

From Sept. 6-13, the search committee will conduct the first round of interviews and the council will host an event for the public to meet the finalists.

On Oct. 6, the council will appoint a city administrator, who will start by early November.

In other business, the council revisited whether to have a director for the Senior Center.

“The council needs to decide if we hire a director or go with Interfaith [Caregivers],” Scholtes said. “We’re putting the parties in a bind; it’s our job to decide.”

He suggested tabling talks with Interfaith until a decision is made.

Scholtes asked Dan Woodring, director of Interfaith Caregivers, to speak to the council at its next work session, to see where Interfaith stands.

“We need someone there to run the place,” said Councilman John Gartzke.

Moving to a another subject, Councilman John Huismann pointed out the city has ground sprayed for mosquitoes at least three times and suggested aerial spraying might have more impact on the proliferating insects.

“They are atrocious; I rode one up here today,” Gartzke joked.

“Unfortunately, the spraying they’ve been doing, it’s been raining,” Scholtes said. “That kind of negates the process.”

The council authorized Scholtes and Todd Bodem, interim city administrator, to check into options with Mosquito Control of Iowa and make a decision on whether aerial spraying might help with the pests.

“If it’s under ten grand, let’s do it because this ain’t working,” Gartzke said.

In other business, the council approved:

o Paying Ulland Bros. $67,082 for compensation in cleaning up petro-contaminated soils during the Highway 169 construction.

o Brook Prestegard being appointed to the Economic Development Authority to replace Denny Zitnak, who resigned.