Interested in serving on an Alexandria city board, committee or commission?

Now’s your chance.

The council authorized city staff to place an advertisement in the newspaper to let residents know about the open, volunteer positions.

The positions include Airport Commission, Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission Joint Board, Board of Public Works, Cable TV Commission, Charter Commission, Park Board, Planning Commission, Police Civil Service Commission, Runestone Community Center Commission and the Storm Water Utility Committee.

The deadline to submit an application to serve is Friday, Nov. 22. Contact Alexandria City Hall for more information.

Following are other items from the Oct. 28 meeting not included in other council stories.

Motion to dissolve LAR is tabled

Council member Todd Jensen’s motion to dissolve Lakes Area Recreation, a process that the city, townships and school district have been working on for months, was tabled.

LAR, which offers more than 20 sports programs to area youth and adults, has been operated for decades under a joint powers agreement between Alexandria School District, the city of Alexandria, and Alexandria and LaGrand townships.

In August, the LAR board met to discuss plans to dissolve the joint powers and bring LAR operations under the school district’s community education program. At that time, several board members stated that they saw the move as a positive one, with little to no effect on the public.

While making his motion, Jensen noted that the two township boards had voted to dissolve the LAR joint powers agreement.

No discussion took place before or after Jensen’s motion. The motion to table the matter, made by Bobbie Osterberg, was approved on a 3-1 vote with Jensen voting no.

LifeLink III ground lease

The council voted to extend a ground lease with LifeLink III, allowing the medical flight company to place a trailer for its staff to use at the Alexandria Airport.

The trailer, which includes a flight planning room, serves as a crew headquarters for employees who are on shift.

The existing lease was established in 2009. The new lease is for one year, followed by four years of automatic renewals. The lease amount for 2019 was set at $1,090 and will increase by $15 per year.

Two new vehicles for public works?

The Alexandria Public Works Department may soon receive a new payloader and a grader.

The council agreed to call for proposals on acquiring the vehicles through a lease-purchase process. The new vehicles would replace models from 1997 and 1998.

After a trade of $38,000 the net cost of the new loader, as quoted in the state contract, is $151,993. After a trade of $56,500, the net cost of the grader is $248,220.

The total cost is estimated to be $400,213.

The proposals will be presented to the council at its Nov. 12 meeting.

In another public works related action, the council authorized out-of-state travel for three public works employees to attend training at the Case facility in Tomahawk, Wisconsin on Nov. 4-6.

The employees will try out the new line of Case equipment, attend classroom safety training and network with public works employees from other cities, said department head Dane Bosl. Case will bill the city $100 for each employee.

RCC leader to attend conferences

The operations lead for the Runestone Community Center, Mat Hennen, received the council’s authorization to attend three out of state events in 2020 — conferences in Buffalo, New York, Boston and Chicago.

As president of the Minnesota Ice Arena Managers Association, Hennen was asked to attend the events. The total cost is estimated to be $5,300 with $2,700 of the total coming from MIAMA.

Support for waste management project

The Alexandria City Council threw its support behind a project that would expand and improve the Pope Douglas Solid Waste Management facility.

The council supported Pope Douglas’ application to receive three Capital Assistance Program grants through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The Douglas County Board gave its support for the $18.9 million project earlier this month. The state grants would cover $9 million while $10 million would be provided by Pope Douglas Solid Waste Management.

The project would create a unified regional waste recovery, recycling and composting system.

The plan is to move the current household hazardous waste/recycling center, along with the administrative building, to a new location – land owned by the Alexandria Technical and Community College east of the existing site; construct an environmental learning center; expand the Material Recovery Facility and install new recovery equipment; and construct an organics composting site at the existing landfill site near Grant County.

Shining a light on epilepsy

Epilepsy will take a turn in the spotlight next month.

The council approved a proclamation that declares November as Epilepsy Awareness Month.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes abnormal electrical activity in the brain that trigger seizures, which can last from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Epilepsy can be caused by various factors, including head trauma, stroke, brain tumors, infections, inherited conditions or problems during fetal development, according to the proclamation.

The proclamation encourages all citizens to show support for those affected by epilepsy and the health care professions who provide invaluable care.

Council still negotiating on REA building

For the third time in two months, the Alexandria City Council closed the final portion of its meeting to consider the purchase of the property at 124 7th Avenue West and 713 Fillmore Street – the old office location for Runestone Electric Association.

State law allows councils to close meetings to develop or consider offers or counter-offers involving real estate.

If the city ultimately acquires the property, the capital improvement plan will be the source of the funding, according to City Administrator Marty Schultz.

Deerwood Drive assessments

The council continued an assessment hearing from its last meeting for sanitary sewer improvements on Deerwood Drive. The hearing was extended because one property owner in the area wasn’t notified.

No one spoke at the public hearing.

The total cost of that project is $258,957. The city will contribute $243,957 in future assessments and connection charges, and the four benefitting property owners will each pay $5,000 in hook-up costs.

The benefitting property owners will have the option of paying their assessment in full with no interest charges as long as payment is made by Nov. 15, or they can have the assessments placed on their property tax bill spread over 10 years at a 5 percent interest rate.

In a related action, the council approved a revised engineering agreement for Deerwood Drive and improvements for Scenic Heights Road based on changes in the street reconstruction portion of the projects.

Deerwood Drive will be a 24-foot wide rural design street with a separated eight-foot surfaced trial along the west side. The engineering cost is $55,822.

Scenic Heights Road, between McKay Avenue and Deerwood Drive, will be 32-feet wide with four-foot wide paved shoulders and 24-foot wide with an eight-foot wide surfaced trail along the south side between Deerwood Drive and East Golf Course Road. The engineering work is $118,244.

The total cost of the street and trail construction of Deerwood Drive is estimated at $365,947 and will be funded from the city’s revolving improvement fund. The cost for the Scenic Heights improvements is $775,160 and will be funded through general obligation street reconstruction bonds.