KSMQ project, new police chief, honorary council member on agenda

Published 9:20 am Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Austin City Council will vote on approving a purchase agreement with First Heartland Surety & Casualty Insurance Company for the Plunkett Law Office, located at 107 West Oakland Avenue, during its next regular meeting on Tuesday.

In November 2017, the council approved a resolution of support for KSMQ in anticipation of a State of Minnesota bonding request for a new production studio. The city agreed to serve as the fiscal host should the legislature approve the state bonds and serve as the landlord of the facility under a long-term lease with KSMQ after the facility is constructed. KSMQ identified the Plunkett Law Office location as the preferred site for the studio.

KSMQ President and CEO Eric Olson will present details about the project to the council during the meeting.

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In addition to approving the purchase agreement, the council will also vote on authorizing the city’s participation in the project for site work and acquisition, which was capped at $475,000 during a closed session on Nov. 5, as well as a preliminary project agreement with KSMQ Public Service Media, Inc.

The council will vote on approving the recommendation of promoting Austin Police Capt. David McKichan to Chief of Police. The recommendation comes from Mayor Tom Stiehm, who reviewed the eligible candidates. If the council approves and McKichan accepts, his appointment would be effective Feb. 21, the day after current Chief Brian Krueger retires.

The council will also appoint Rain Suereh as the next honorary council member. Suereh will serve a three-month term from February through April 2019.

Public Works Director Steven Lang will update the council on the Turtle Creek Flood Control Project during the council’s work session.

The council will also hear an update on hazardous buildings from Planning and Zoning Administrator Holly Wallace and will discuss the details of its upcoming council retreat.

In observance of Martin Luther King Day, the council will be holding its next regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the Council Chambers located in the basement of City Hall. The work session will be held in the conference room located across the hall immediately following the meeting.

For a complete agenda, visit http://www.ci.austin.mn.us/city-council.