Council begins new session

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 4, 2001

With the new year came a changing of the guard at Tuesday night’s Austin City Council meeting.

Thursday, January 04, 2001

With the new year came a changing of the guard at Tuesday night’s Austin City Council meeting.

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After finishing some old business from 2000 and an adjournment of the meeting with the 2000 council, handshakes and name plates were exchanged as New City Council members Pete Christopherson and Wayne Goodnature replaced Roger Boughton and Neil Fedson at the council bench.

Later in the meeting, Goodnature introduced his daughter Susan to the council, as well as the woman whom he will marry in three weeks, Catherine Adamson. He said that both were a testament to "the value and importance of family and how important their support is."

Christopherson introduced his wife Diane, who will be having their first child in March. Of Diane, Christopherson said, "She gives me the strength to get up in the morning." He thanked his father, Mr. Boughton, Mr. Ellingson and the "people of the Second Ward as well.

Resolutions of appreciation were passed to honor the work of Roger Boughton and Neil Fedson.

Christopherson, Goodnature, Mayor Bonnie Rietz, Council member-at-Large Dick Chaffee and Council member Third Ward Dick Lang took their oaths of office.

The new council recited "The Athenian Oath," which Mayor Rietz said was recited by the League of Minnesota Cities Board.

City Administrator Patrick McGarvey, City Recorder/Treasurer Tom Dankert, City Attorney David Hoversten and City Engineer Jon Erichson were unanimously reappointed to their respective positions and took their oaths of office as well.

In other Austin City Council business:

– Mayor Rietz’s committee, boards and commission appointments were approved unanimously by the council.

– Several retirees who were unable to attend the Dec. 28 meeting were present at the meeting, including: Roger Hofner, Sewer Maintenance Department, 1964-2000; Lt. Glenn Thaisen, Police Department, 1969-2000; and Thomas Brown, Waste Water Treatment Plant, 1970-2000

Those not in attendance to receive their plaques were: Gary Granle, Police Department Animal Control, 1988-2000; Officer Bradley Bednar, Police Department, 1974-2000; Captain Brian McAlister, Police Department, 1970-2000

– Outgoing Finance Committee Chairperson Jeanne Poppe read an overview of the work done by the personnel of the city of Austin and stated that Austin is "truly blessed to have some of the finest personnel in the state of Minnesota." At Council member-at-Large Dick Chaffee’s request, Poppe’s statement will be added to the city’s website.

– A resolution was approved designating depositories for checking and investment of public funds for 2001. In addition, in the same action the council approved Wells Fargo Stock Transfer Office, Piper Jaffrey, Inc. and Edward D. Jones & Co. as brokerage services for he purpose of liquidating donated corporate stocks and bonds for the Library Construction Project.

– The Austin Daily Herald was named as the official newspaper for the city of Austin for the year 2001.

– The council passed a resolution identifying "substantially damaged" properties resulting from the July 9 flood. This action is being taken to comply with data requirements to acquire funds to have those certain properties removed, said Zoning Administrator Craig Hoium.

Council member Lang expressed his concern that only six properties were mentioned though more were damaged in the flood. Hoium responded that an additional 26 to 28 homes were part of a repetitive loss plan and that work is being done to acquire additional properties.

– The council passed a resolution rescinding the resolution which platted the "Lickteig Second Addition" as single-family units and then they proceeded to set a public meeting for a preliminary platting of the same land. The hearing will be at the Jan. 16 council meeting.

– Public hearings involving the properties of Steven Carroll and Jon Boyer will also be heard at that meeting.

As a serious aside to the business at hand, Public Works Director Jon Erichson warned parents in Austin to make sure that their children do not build snow forts along the boulevards. Erichson and City Administrator McGarvey both warned of the dangers snow plows pose to any children playing too close to the street.

Erichson went on to remind residents that garbage cans should be placed on the boulevard and not into the street for collection.

Hoium said that residents should also be proactive in their efforts to rid their roofs of snow and ice build-up, since leaking can result from damage to shingles.

Captain Rude reminded residents to follow snowmobile law, especially in light of the fatality this past weekend.

Council member First Ward Mickey Jorgenson reviewed the progress of the Bicycle Committee and noted that much progress has been made since last year’s fatality near Target.

Mayor Rietz reminded the council and the public that her "State of the City" address will take place at 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 18.

Thanks for service

The following resolution was read at the City Council meeting for outgoing Council Persons Roger Boughton and Neil Fedson:

Resolution extending a vote of appreciation to Roger Boughton/Neil Fedson for (their) dedicated service as (Second/First) Ward Council Member for the city of Austin, Minnesota

Whereas during the time that (Roger Boughton/Neil Fedson) served the city of Austin, he gave untiringly of his effort(s) to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the city of Austin, and at all times he endeavored to promote the best interests of the citizens and community; and

Whereas, (Roger/Neil) was always constructive, courteous and dedicated to his colleagues on the Council and to the citizens; and

Whereas, (Roger/Neil) continually strive for solutions and decisions that advanced the services of the City.

Now therefore, be it resolved by the Common Council of the city of Austin that we do hereby extend to (Roger Boughton/Neil Fedson) our sincere appreciation for his dedicated service to the city of Austin, and we wish to thank him for the efficient, effective and courteous manner in which he at all times performed his duties.

Let a copy of this resolution be spread among upon the minutes of the Council proceedings, and that a certified copy of this resolution be delivered to (Roger Boughton/Neil Fedson) as an expression of our esteem for him.

These two resolutions were passed by a vote of 7-0.