The Fountain City Council approved a response letter to a stipulation agreement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) at its Aug. 1 meeting.

In a letter drafted by city engineer David Morrill, the city let the MPCA know the city would be moving forward in the use of one of the city's treatment tanks as a stabilization pond. The main goal of the project is to reduce nitrate levels to below the MPCA standard.

The council has been addressing the issue over the past several meetings. The new wastewater treatment plant has been in operation for approximately a year and a half, but it has posed numerous processing dilemmas that the city has hoped will be worked out. Included in these issues has been a higher nitrate level than is allowed by the MPCA.

According to Dave Gartner from PeopleService, the testing period would start on Sept. 16 and end on July 1, 2014.

Small City Grant application

Ronda Flattum, city clerk, told the council the city had received an applicant for Fountain's small city grant. Roughly $14,700 has been in the city's fund balance for over a year. The money was earmarked for home improvements, but needs to be paid back if the homeowner sells the house before five years expire. The fund balance had increased over several years due to past applicants selling their improved homes.

The Community and Economic Improvement Association (CEDA) had approved the applicant's request for $12,575, plus administration costs. The council approved the request.

Police report

City Police Chief Tom Mosher updated the council on the rash of vandalism which occurred during June in the park. Tree branches had been broken off, a canvas tarp torn down, and there was significant vandalism to the bathrooms.

Mosher said he had spoken with about six adolescents from town about the incidents and found out the tarp had allegedly been accidentally destroyed when a kid was hanging from a support piece and a smaller tear was made worse. The broken branches had come from when two youth were climbing the trees in the park. Mosher said he still did not know who was responsible for the bathroom vandalism. Plexiglass windows had been broken with paint and fecal matter smeared throughout the bathroom.

Mosher also reported there being an increase in burglaries in the area. Almost all the activity centered on abandoned houses, but reports of missing all-terrain vehicles, trailers, pressure washers and other property have been reported as well. Mosher encouraged people to call law enforcement if they see suspicious activity around an abandoned building.

Fillmore County's switch to computer aided dispatch software through MN-based company LETG caused Mosher to evaluate if a switch to the system would benefit Fountain or Ostrander. He brought a preliminary statement to the council and said it did not look like switching to LETG would be worth the expense. Mosher said he would continue to receive training on the software system and make further evaluations although he felt there was enough technology for the two small towns.

Fountain Trail Days

A proposal from First State Bank of Fountain came to the council for an opportunity to raise money for next year's Fountain Trail Days. A "haunted house" event would generate several thousand dollars for Trail Days.

Mayor Richard Kujath asked what the event was looking for in volunteers for the nine-night event. More information about the opportunity will be gathered before the council makes a decision.

Other business

It was reported that North Star Pump Services had completed a job order at the north lift station, which included the replacement of the station's rusting slide rails.

It was determined to hold a preliminary budget meeting on Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. Councilman Chad Wangen said a couple roads, Pine Street and Third Street, in Fountain needed to be looked at and taken care of. Flattum told the council to bring ideas to the meeting so the city could get quotes ahead of time. She mentioned the city will be getting more money in local government aid during the next fiscal year.