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Maintenance contract approved for ballpark

Creative Landscape of Alexandria will do the maintenance work at Knute Nelson Ballpark this summer.

It submitted the lone quote for the work for $10,100 — a 3 percent increase from last year — and the Alexandria City Council accepted it Monday night. The work includes getting the field ready for more than 100 games throughout the summer. Workers drag the field, chalk the baselines, paint the outfield foul lines and mow, as needed. After the games, workers collect litter from the grandstands and observation decks.

Rental fees of $5,300 will help cover the cost.

Bill Thoennes, park director, noted that Scott Giroux and his crew from Creative Landscape have done an exceptional job maintaining the ballpark for the past five years.

Following are other items from the May 13 meeting not covered in other council stories.

Deerwood Drive

The council approved a revised engineering agreement to extend the sanitary sewer on Deerwood Drive.

The engineering cost is $34,788.

The reconstruction of the road, as decided at the last council meeting, will be considered as a 2020 project, along with the reconstruction of Scenic Heights Road.

The total cost of the work, including engineering, is estimated at $228,050.

Building Safety Month

The council proclaimed May 2019 as Building Safety Month. The proclamation noted the theme of the month is "No code. No confidence." It's designed to raise awareness of fire prevention, disaster mitigation and new technologies in the construction industry.

The proclamation encourages residents to take steps to ensure the safety of the building environment and recognize the countless lives that have been saved by local and state agencies that have implemented safety codes.

MnDOT contracts

The council agreed to renew its agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to use MnDOT's sand/salt storage building at 1405 34th Ave. W., next to Douglas Machine.

With the partnership, the city doesn't have to build its own storage facility.

The agreement is for five years.

In a related action, the council approved a contract with MnDOT to receive grants for maintenance and operation at the airport.

The city will receive $73,020 in 2020 and 2021, up slightly from the $71,110 it received in 2018 and 2019.

The grants will cover about 40 percent of the airport's annual operating budget.

Airport fund transfer

The council approved an agreement to transfer $150,000 of its federal entitlement funds for the airport to the city of Winona.

Winona plans to construct a snow removal equipment building at its airport this year and has $560,000 set aside for it in entitlement funds but may need a little more funding to complete the project.

Alexandria has $225,000 in entitlement funds and didn't plan on using any of it before April 2020. Under the agreement, Winona would return Alexandria's funds by that time.

The agreement must still be approved by the Alexandria Airport Commission.

Ordinances amended

The council gave final approval to two changes in city ordinances.

One involves the state's "Safe Routes to School" program that provides grants for road projects. A subdivision regarding parks, open spaces and public use was changed to say that any subdivision will include provisions for safe routes to school infrastructure and may be amended from time to time as long as it's consistent with state law.

The other change requires proper evidence of title at least 60 days before a final plat is submitted for approval.

Building Board of Appeals

Two new members were appointed to the city's Building Board of Appeals, a standing committee that addresses questions about the state building code, such as using alternate construction materials or methods.

The new members are Deb Parrott, an architect, and Shane Johnson with Tradesman Construction.

They'll replace Paul Ringdahl and Jon Ladwig, who recently left the area.

Licenses approved

The council issued two licenses — a transient merchant permit to Westby Enterprises, doing business as The Country Stop, to sell produce; and a permit to Walmart to sell fireworks inside.

The council also issued two charitable gambling licenses — Alexandria Rotary Club to sell raffle tickets at a May 30 event at Broadway Ballroom; and the Runestone Museum Foundation to sell raffles at an Aug. 7 event at the museum.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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