The Grand Rapids City Council convened for its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, April 25 at City Hall. Mayor Dale Adams was absent; Mayor Pro Tem Bill Zeige conducted the meeting.
Golf Course Director, Bob Cahill delivered the annual report for the Pokegama Golf Course. Cahill said that the course had survived the winter with no problems, and that improvements at the golf course included delivery of 25 new gps-eqipped golf carts, and a new range ball picker.
Cahill then recapped the issue of water appropriation at the golf course. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had previously notified Cahill that at the end of 2017 the course would no longer be allowed to draw irrigation water from Pokegama Lake during times of drought. Cahill said that after several meetings with the DNR’s Water Allocation Authority, the agency was prepared to reverse its position on the matter as long as certain stipulations were met.
Conditions of the agreement include a drought management plan and voluntary water conservation measures that would save up to 30 percent of normal water use at the course on an annual basis.
Cahill said the reduction in water usage would come from new and modified irrigation heads that result in a more efficient use of water. In addition, the golf course would be irrigating less area than it had in the past. The measures would reduce water consumption from 12 million gallons of water per year to about 8-9 million gallons per year. The changes also alleviate the need for drilling a $150,000 irrigation well that would be used sparingly.
The golf course manager concluded his remarks by highlighting some of the programs that are available at the golf course. Student golf teams continue to golf at the course, the summer junior golf programs are in place for kids that cannot afford to play junior golf, and the web site is being updated to accommodate use on smart phones and tablets.
In other business, the council:
• Approved the minor subdivision entitled Thunderhawk Addition to Grand Rapids at the site of the former Pro-Build site that will house a grocer, restaurant and a third business that is yet to be determined.
• Updated a previous approval to purchase two 2016 Ford Police Interceptor SUVs from Rapids Ford to reflect the fact that the ordering deadline was missed and the 2017 version of the vehicles will be purchased from Hibbing Ford at a cost of $27,871 per vehicle.
• Accepted the resignation of Faye Chessmen, circulation technician at the library.
• Approved the verified claims in the amount of $494,148.53.