City continues to discuss Krakow Park maintenance

By Keri Solis
The Montello City Council is still in discussions with the DNR in regards to who is responsible for maintaining Krakow Park. The DNR claims that as part of the dredge bank project negotiations, the city said they would take over the care and maintenance of the park as an in-kind donation to the project. There have been verbal discussions between the city and the DNR on who will be responsible for what going forward, but the city has yet to receive a written offer from the DNR. The city is planning on having a rededication of the park next year.

A request was made from the Buffalo Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District for $300 to be used toward the cost of putting a kiosk at the new boat launch. The City had questions about the kiosk, such as dimensions, what would be on it, and who will maintain it. Before they move forward, the City would like these questions answered.

In committee reports, according to the Public Safety Committee meeting minutes, Chief Olson reported that there were two incidents that occurred during Father Marquette Day. One was a ball player at the City Park cursing loudly while in the outfield. Chief Olson went to that team and advised that this was a family day/event at the City Park and that cursing would not be tolerated.

The other was the closing down of Park Street in front of the Veteran’s Memorial at the courthouse, which caused complaints as the participants in the Granite City Walk/Run had been directed to turn left off of STH 23 to Park Street to get to the event. Chief Olson was able to remedy the situation by opening up one of the lanes at that location so the people attending the run could get through. There was no permit applied for through the Public Safety Committee to close off Park Street for the memorial dedication ceremony. It was explained that normally, an event planner completes the required Event Form and then attends the city’s Public Safety Committee meeting prior to the scheduled event and answers any questions the committee may have concerning it. Once approved by the Committee, the Chair signs the Event Form, it is read at a City Council meeting, and approved.

Chief Olson also spoke about issues he is having with his squad car. The current Dodge was purchased two years ago. It currently has approximately 35,000 miles on it and the warranty will expire after 36,000 miles. There have been ongoing problems with this squad. It has been to Hill Ford many times for warranty work. Chief Olson stated he is concerned about keeping this vehicle, as it will soon be off warranty. The current trade-in value of the Dodge is $13,000, with mileage of 40,000.

Chief Olson stated the options for squad cars are limited. They are the Dodge Charger, Chevy Caprice, Ford Taurus or Ford SUV. At the time the Dodge was purchased, it was the cheapest option.

At the regular city council meeting, members expressed concerns about the brakes, but also about not getting the full life out of the vehicle. They are looking for more information from Chief Olson before committing to purchasing a new squad.

According to Public Works minutes, the chairs from the Town of Mecan and Town of Montello, who now jointly operate the recycling center with the City of Montello, were asking about recycling money due to the center. This was in reference to state money that municipalities receive for recycling. Montello City Clerk Dawn Calnin said that two different bills come from Advanced, which picks up the recycling. One is for the city pick-up and one is for the center. This information is then submitted to the state, but she does not know how calculations are done and what share of the money from the state goes to the center. The city will continue to look into this matter.

Minutes from the Montello Public Library show that they have good numbers at their programs. The number is down from last year, but that may have to do with a few of the programs being held at the community room building and not getting some of those door count numbers on the machine. The total circulation for the month was almost even with last year, with 20 new users and 515 active users. Five children’s programs were held with 74 children present, 11 teens and 22 adults. There were 8 young adult programs with 24 in attendance. This includes both Teen Advisory Board meetings and the Teen Read (summer book club). Legos have been purchased for a non-robotic Lego club. More discussions were held on how to run the club.

In other city council business, Joanna Christian of Ward 4 has resigned from the city council. Her term was due to end in April.

A September 29th Finance Committee meeting has also been set to work on the 2015 budget.