Student from Germany gets inside look at city staff in Alexandria

The student, who has been living in Stuttgart, Germany, has been shadowing city staff for the past six weeks.

Caden Burkman

Caden Burkman, a high school student who has been living in Stuttgart, Germany , for the last six years says he had an "eye opening" experience while shadowing Alexandria city staff for the past eight weeks.

Burkman, who is keenly interested in politics, was invited by Mayor Bobbie Osterberg to see what Alexandria is like. It's part of the city's efforts to increase engagement among young people.

Burkman is no stranger to Alexandria. His family returns every summer to spend time with his grandmother who lives on Lake Victoria.

At Monday night's Alexandria City Council meeting, he said he was impressed with how well the city staff and city leadership work together to get things done.

Burkman visited with city employees, attended meetings and participated in site visits with staff.


"The time has gone so fast," he said. "I've seen things I didn't think I'd see – all that happens behind the scenes and the nature of how small-town politics work."

He took a tour of the city's stormwater system, which he found to be "super interesting" because he's taken classes on the environment and technologies that protect it. "Seeing all the retention ponds and the policies and technology behind them was amazing," he said.

Attending a budget meeting was another highlight. "It was difficult to jump into at first but it was cool to see how everyone played off each other," Burkman said, adding that the budget committee members were very serious about what they were doing.

"It was interesting to see how they worked alongside each other and worked seamlessly," he added.

Homecoming parade, park event get go-ahead

Alexandria Area High School received a special event permit for its 2021 homecoming parade on Friday, Sept. 24 from 4 to 5 p.m.

The parade route will start at the Douglas County Fairgrounds and continue to Broadway and down to 15th Avenue, ending at the Alexandria Technical and Community College parking lot, according to Greta Brunelle, representing the AAHS Student Council.

The city will provide traffic control and barricades.

About 2,000 people are expected to attend the parade.


The council also approved a special event permit to Carlson Music Center for the Saturday in the Park events that will be held every Saturday in August and September from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The events, which will include music, art exhibitors and more, will take place at Big Ole Central Park.

The permit was given on the condition that any Centers for Disease Control or public health guidance at the time of the events must be followed.

City, county explore new mapping method

A new way of mapping elevation contours city-wide in Alexandria is being explored.

It’s called “LIDAR,” an acronym for light detection and ranging. It’s a technology that uses lasers to get information about the surface of the earth by measuring the time it takes for the reflected light to return to the receiver.

The city’s existing contour data hasn’t been updated since 1996, according to City Administrator Marty Schultz.

Douglas County has reached out to the city about partnering with new LIDAR data in 2022, Schultz said in a memo to the council The city’s share of the costs would amount to about $10,000.

The city hopes to share those costs with ALP Utilities and Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District as it has done for many years with other aerial imagery, Schultz said.


Aerial photos are paid for annually from the city’s Information Technology Equipment Fund and the city would likely do the same thing with the LIDAR data.

Copper Trail gets temporary liquor license

Copper Trail Brewing Company in Alexandria received a temporary liquor license to sell beer in the parking lot at their location at 205 Broadway for a three-day event, the fifth annual Oletoberfest, on Sept. 10-12.

The event will include a food vendor area, band, games and a 40-foot-by-40-foot covered tent.

Park bench donation

The council accepted a donation of $859 from the Hains family to place a bench along the sidewalk on Fifth Avenue West near Lake Winona in memory of Leonard Hains, who died this past February at the age of 101.

The donation covers the full cost of buying and installing the bench.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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