City hires new safety service

Published 12:58 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2010

City Council authorized the City of Austin to enter into an agreement with the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) for safety consultation services on Tuesday night.

The purpose of the agreement is to contract MMUA to provide employee safety training, department inspections and to review Austin’s current safety program.

The agreement is simply a change in vendors, not in service entirely. Another consulting service has been providing the city with safety consultation, but MMUA is currently more able to serve the needs of Austin.

Email newsletter signup

There was some disagreement within the council regarding authorization of the agreement. Council member John Martin expressed concern that the council had not been educated enough on the safety services that MMUA is able to offer and on the cost of the program.

“We’ve never talked about the cost of this,” Martin said. “We should take some more time.”

City Administrator Jim Hurm explained that the safety services are a budgeted item and the city will be staying within the budget with all safety training regardless of who is providing the consulting services.

The new training is very computer-oriented with several simulation exercises. Assistant City Engineer Steven Lang said MMUA has recently been working with the League of Minnesota Cities and the feedback on the success of the training services has been very positive.