Osakis gives Lind-Rite some tax helpA local business hit by the economy and again by the state’s JOBZ regulations received a helping hand in Osakis.
By: Greta Petrich, Osakis Review
A local business hit by the economy and again by the state’s JOBZ regulations received a helping hand in Osakis.
The city of Osakis approved extending tax abatement for Lind-Rite Precision Manufacturing until 2015. In addition, it agreed to a 50-50 split – $750 each – to set up the abatement.
Under the JOBZ program, Lind-Rite didn’t have to pay property taxes on its expansion as long as it met a list of stipulations. One of those requirements was increasing jobs. Due to the rough economy, the company actually dropped below the minimum number of jobs and was dropped from JOBZ.
The tax abatement will not cost the city any more than the $750 it agreed to.
The council met at the Osakis Information Center last month to look into the possibility of moving city offices to the building at Central and Main Streets. The group decided city hall should remain where it is.
Since the building has basically fallen into the hands of the city since the Osakis Chamber of Commerce and Osakis Economic Development Corporation pulled out, it was suggested it might be time to put the building up for sale.
Emerson expressed concern that no other organizations are stepping forward with financial support and it’s currently costing the city $200 a month for utilities in a building the city doesn’t use.
Councilman Randy Anderson questioned what they should do about the heritage center.
Councilman Bruce Pederson suggested tabling the issue for another month or two to see what happens.
Mayor Kip Emerson spoke on behalf of Joe Ketelboeter, liquor store manager, letting the council know Ketelboeter plans to retire in July.
The council decided to start advertising the opening as soon as possible so the position could be filled while Ketelboeter is still available for training.
Craig Dropik presented the run report for the Osakis First Responders with 12 calls in February. That’s down five from last year. He requested mileage reimbursement to send one or two members to a traumatic situation seminar in Fergus Falls. He explained the attendees could bring information back from the free training and share it with all of the first responders.
Osakis Fire Chief Mark Pomerleau reported the department is in the process of hiring two new firefighters. He noted they have received more than 10 applicants. He also said things are looking positive for the department to receive a FEMA grant for equipment.
Pomerleau also asked if the city crew could clear the snow that’s blocking several fire hydrants throughout the city. He noted the Sentence to Serve crew came out and worked on some of them, however, there is more to do.
Chief Mark Gilson shared the February police report and answered questions about overtime. He explained that in some situations that happen at the end of the shift, the officer needs to remain on duty to complete paperwork required by the county attorney first thing in the morning.
He also received permission to attend the police chiefs’ conference in April.
Ron Kleinschmidt, city maintenance superintendent, asked the council’s opinion on insulating the city shop. He explained the cement block building has no insulation and is quite expensive to heat. He estimated it will cost approximately $25,000 to insulate the outside of the building with foam, covered with steel.
Kleinschmidt also pointed out the shop is in need of paint, something that wouldn’t need to be done if they went ahead with the insulating project.
Emerson suggested holding off on the expense at this time and instead look into painting the building.
The public hearing for the proposed water facility – story published in March 5 Osakis Review – will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 24. This date was changed from the original date published in the newspaper.
Alison Triebenbach of Osakis Strength and Fitness received permission from the council to block Central Avenue from Nokomis to Main Street for a basketball tournament June 26 and 27. The tournament will bring three-on-three street basketball – along with about 500 people – to the downtown Osakis area during the Osakis Festival, according to Triebenbach, who is organizing the event.
2 a.m. closing
The council renewed the 2 a.m. closing permit for the Walleye Lodge after Osakis Police Chief Gilson expressed his opposition.
Gilson said allowing the three bars in Osakis to remain open the extra hour only results in law enforcement issues, and, in turn, more overtime for officers.
The council previously extended the closing time contract for both the Osakis VFW and the Osakis Liquor Store.
The Osakis Review and the Echo Press are owned by Forum Communications.