No deer hunt in Alexandria city limits this year
By a general consensus, the council felt that the process of drafting a deer hunting ordinance shouldn't be rushed when safety is an issue.
Those who were looking forward to bow hunting deer in the Alexandria city limits this fall will have to wait a little longer.
At Monday's Alexandria City Council meeting, Mayor Bobbie Osterberg said the council heard from Alexandria Police Chief Scott Kent during a work session before the meeting and concerns were raised about how to keep the hunt safe. By a general consensus, the council felt that the process of drafting a deer hunting ordinance shouldn't be rushed when safety is an issue.
For that reason, Osterberg said, the hunt wouldn't happen in 2021.
Meet Alexandria's new police officer
A new officer has joined the ranks of the Alexandria Police Department.
Abigail Mumme took her oath of office at Monday night’s meeting. The occasion drew one of the most heavily attended council meetings in more than a year. At least 18 members of the department were there, along with many of Mumme's family members, including her parents, David and Glenda Mumme.
Mumme was raised in Waterville in the south eastern part of the state and graduated from Alexandria Technical and Community College in the spring of 2021.
At the college, she was voted a troop commander of her squad, said Police Chief Scott Kent.
Mumme will start her field training process Tuesday morning.
The position is not a new one. An opening in the department was created when Sergeant Tina Lake retired.
The process of onboarding a police officer is long, Kent told the council. The city’s Police Civil Service Commission and Kent advertised and received 40 applications and conducted two rounds of interviews.
Next, background checks were taken to learn more about the applicants to ensure the right fit for the department and city, Kent said.
Mumme met all the conditions for the job – medical exam, psychological exam, fitness exam and licensing exam, Kent added.
Construction manager selected for RCC project
The council voted to proceed with the hiring of a construction manager – RJM Construction of Golden Valley – to oversee the $10 million expansion of the Runestone Community Center.
The city received seven proposals. The RCC Commission, council member Roger Thalman and staff reviewed them and interviewed three finalists. The commission then voted unanimously to pursue an agreement with RJM.
Some of RJM’s projects listed on its website include remodeling the League of Minnesota Cities building in St. Paul, the Westwood Hills Nature Center in St. Louis Park, The Nordic building in the north loop district in downtown Minneapolis and the HERO Center that provides regional training for police, fire and emergency medical services in Woodbury and Cottage Grove.
City staff was directed to prepare an agreement with RJM and it will go before the council at its July 12 meeting.
The Minnesota Legislature included the RCC expansion in its bonding bill. The state agreed to provide roughly half the cost, $5.6 million.
The city, likely using tax abatement bonds and private funds raised by groups that use the facility, are expected to cover the rest of the cost.
In addition to adding a third rink to meet the surging demand for more ice time, the expansion will allow the RCC to host dry-floor events in the expansion area, which would free up ice arenas for skating and curling.
A clean audit for the city
The city of Alexandria is in good financial shape, according to Abdo, Eick and Meyers, which presented a report to the council.
The city has a fund balance of $5.32 million at the end of 2020.
Revenues were up $854,369 and amounted to $10.53 million, compared to the original final budget of $9.68 million.
Expenditures, however, were also up, by $209,447, and totaled $10.12 million. This left the city with a balance of $644,922. Other funding sources contributed $9,250, which increased the fund balance to $654,172 for the year and when added to the previous fund balance, leaves the city $5.32 million in the black.
Most of the revenue, around $5 million came from taxes. Intergovernmental revenue, such as federal coronavirus grants and local government aid from the state, contributed nearly $3 million. The rest came from ALP Utilities’ payment in lieu of taxes, charges for city services and other miscellaneous sources.
The clean audit didn’t identify any deficiencies in internal controls that Abdo, Eick and Meyers considered to be material weaknesses.
The council issued three special event permits:
Feeding the 5,001 will take place Saturday, Aug. 14 at the Common Ground Coffee House from 3 to 9 p.m. The free event includes food, music, children's activities and a car show. A portion of Hawthorne Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue will be blocked off for the event, as well as a portion of the parking lot next to Common Ground.
The Church for the Harvest Block Party is set for Thursday, Aug. 26 from 4 to 9 p.m. A portion of 41st Avenue West will be blocked off between 42nd Avenue and Iowa Street.
The Faith Rose 5K will be held Saturday, Oct. 2 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the actual event beginning at 10:30 a.m. The annual event raises awareness of pregnancy and infant loss. It was organized by Maria Lopau and other women who have been affected by the loss of a baby. The run will begin and end at City Park using the trail to the Central Lakes Trail.