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Osakis parking fines to increase

A parking ticket just got more expensive in Osakis.

The Osakis City Council approved raising the fine for a parking ticket from $10 to $25 at its regular meeting February 1.

The decision came after Chief Mark Gilson noted he needed to order more parking tickets. He told the council parking fines had not changed in at least 24 years, adding that nearby cities of similar size charge $25.

A new water plant?

After seven months in the review process, Osakis' proposal for a new water plant under the federal stimulus program made a little progress.

Brian Hiles, the city's engineering representative, said the review process, while slow, went well. He noted the reviewing engineer said Osakis had one of the better reports this round.

The next step is for Hiles and Ron Kleinschmidt to meet with Rural Development to gather additional information followed by preparing a preliminary engineering report and draft an engineering agreement. If all goes well and the council approves construction, Hiles said they could break ground this fall.

Councilman Jerry Olson pulled back the reins at this point, questioning how far they could get in the process while still having the ability to back out.

Wireless tower

After three months of sending a potential money making project from the city council to the EDA to planning and zoning and back again, the council may have made a decision regarding the wireless tower.

Several members of each group had reservations about putting a 250-foot tower in the Osakis industrial park, while others felt the rent was something they couldn't pass up.

After what seemed like another impasse, Kleinschmidt suggested the pie-shaped grass area east of the Osakis Liquor Store. No action was taken on the subject.

Department heads

Pete Erickson presented the January run sheet for the Osakis First Responders to the council. He noted they had 13 runs during the month. He also informed the council one member resigned from the group after taking a job in Alexandria.

Ron Kleinschmidt reported on the city crew requesting permission to send a final notice to residents with problematic water meters.

He said he has made numerous attempts to contact about 14 property owners to arrange a time to inspect their water meters with no response.

The council approved posting second notices on the doors of those locations informing them that failure to respond will result in their water being shut off.

Councilman Randy Anderson asked Kleinschmidt about the possibility of reopening the skating rink in Osakis.

Kleinschmidt noted the former warming house building was in tough shape and suggested finding an alternative site with better light and parking. He seemed enthusiastic about a skating rink if a better site can be found.

Flood plain ordinance

After checking into the FEMA flood plain insurance, Pederson said the flood plain ordinance would implement some very strict regulations for improvements to properties within the flood zone. He noted at this time, there are more negatives than positives. The plan died for lack of interest.

In other action the council:

Approved continuing education training in rural water for Ron Kleinschmidt and Kurt Haakinson at a cost of $350 plus lodging.

Approved Angela Jacobsen attending the clerk's conference at a cost of $370.

Approved transferring $100,000 from the liquor store fund to the general fund. The money was actually put in a CD in 2008, but the council only officially approved the CD and not the specific fund.

Approved a gambling license for Ducks Unlimited raffle on April 16.

Approved paying $500 of its $2,500 commitment to West Central Initiative.

Approved letting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society use Park Osagi during its bike ride July 26. About 1,000 bicyclists are riding from Alexandria to Little Falls and plan to be in Osakis between 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. with no overnight camping.

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The Osakis Review and the Echo Press are owned by Forum Communications Company.

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