W’bago planning property cleanups

WINNEBAGO – Winnebago City Council has approved abatement for 11 properties deemed public nuisances.

“It’s gone from 44 with the first round of letters down to 11, so that’s pretty good progress,” says Chris Ziegler, city administrator.

The properties have been inspected and their conditions recorded. The 11 remaining on the list have not done anything to remedy problems, and no one showed up at a public hearing on the topic.

By approving abatement, the council authorized Ziegler to go in with a crew and clean up the properties.

“My intention is to try to work with the property owners to resolve their own mess,” Ziegler said.

In other property news, the council approved advertising for bids for demolition of two properties forfeited last year. They are located at 31 First Avenue Northwest and 435 First Avenue Northwest.

Turning to construction matters, the council approved a feasibility study by Bolton & Menk focusing on about 25 blocks west of Highway 169 and north of Jackson Road to upgrade streets, storm, sewer and water systems. The study will evaluate the condition, cost and timeline of the proposed project, and is not to exceed $15,000.

The council also approved a resolution for a Minnesota Clean Water Partnership Grant and Loan to help pay for the storm water and sewer issues on the project.

The council also approved crack sealing the tennis court. There is a plan to put a fence down the middle of the court and use half for a skate park, Ziegler said. A while back, Winnebago obtained two ramps from the city of Delavan that will be installed at the park. The skate park group has raised about $5,500, and Ricky Paz is looking for more donations, including time and materials.

“Hopefully, we’ll get something opened up before school starts,” Ziegler said.

The council’s next meeting will be Aug. 11, because of the primary being on the regular meeting night.

Up for election this year in Winnebago are seats held by Mayor Jeremiah Schutt (a two-year term), and council members Scott Robertson and Jonathan Weerts (four-year terms). The filing period is July 29 to Aug. 12.

In other action, the council approved:

o Free swimming at the pool during MotoFest on Aug. 2 and National Night Out Aug. 5. National Night Out, from 5-8 p.m., will feature equipment from the police, ambulance and fire departments, hot dogs and a small picnic.

o The low bid of $12,800 from Dakota Pump & Control of Dundas for the South Industrial Park grinder station replacement.