At last week’s Coleraine City Council meeting, City Engineer Bob Beaver gave an update on the smart water meters. Beaver told councilors that no grants were available and councilors discussed alternative funding for the $265,000 needed to complete the project. Beaver told the council the smart meters would save the city money in the long run because less water would be used.
Councilors voted to dissolve the Police Advisory Committee, effective on April 25, 2016. The council took action after the resignation of Pat Dolensek, one of the three members of the committee. The advisory committee has worked with the cities of Bovey and Coleraine and two different labor unions, those being AFSCME and the Teamsters. The parties involved failed to find common ground in terms of a labor contract in the business of merging the Bovey and Coleraine Police Departments.
A representative from the Planning Commission gave a presentation on the perils of dog poop in the city proper. Planning and zoning officials want to promote a movement for dog owners to voluntarily police the droppings of their pets. The spokesman passed some fun facts about dog excrement to the attendees. The ecosystem can process the waste of two dogs per square mile and most urban districts are home to about 125 dogs per square mile. The average canine can generate as much as 274 pounds of waste annually. Furthermore, one gram of feces is alive with about 23 million toxic bacteria as well as a myriad of parasites such as worms, protozoa and viruses. Any one of these organisms could cause illness or death in humans. Sources cited include the U of M, the CDC and the EPA.
In other business, councilors agreed to table the vote on a resolution supporting the Twin Metals Project near Ely, which was rejected by the Minnesota Governor’s Office due to concerns it would cause pollution in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. A concerned resident at the meeting pointed out that recently, one other mining company has faltered on its promise of hundreds of jobs and a steel mill on the West Range. That company’s corporate headquarters, like that of Twin Metals, is located in a foreign country.
In other business, the council:
• Voted to approve the meeting agenda.
• Approved the resignation of Maintenance Mechanic Barry Trobek to be effective in May.
• Voted to make the initial payment of $107,237 to Hammerlund Construction to start work on the Trout Lake Emergency Services Building.
• Agreed to accept a bid for $2580.50 to reconstruct the electrical system outside the Coleraine Public Library because of safety concerns.
• Agreed to approve nine election judges.
• Voted to approve the resignation of Library Director Jo Anne Mikulich to be effective in July.
• Voted to approve the purchase of additional e-mail accounts with the same domain for a total cost of $936 per year.
• Voted to change a road maintenance contract in Trout Lake Township from one to two years.
• Tabled action on a lease agreement with School District 316 for the new parking lot at the former site of Rexal Drug. The School District is asking for exclusive rights to this parking lot. It is unclear if School District 316 has paid its share of the demolition cost.
• Directed the city clerk to post the library director position at 32 hours per week.