Canton City Council members received an update on the progress of the remodeling of the former liquor store into the new government building at the regular council meeting on Wednesday, May 14.

Mayor Donivee Johnson reported that DJC Construction has been retained to do the carpentry work.

Lifetime Insulation's quote to insulate the structure, including walls, both above and below ground, crawl space and ceilings, including metal flashing, in the amount of $8,543.20 was approved. It was noted that the building should be very efficient to heat and cool after the insulation is installed.

Possible options for meeting room tables and stackable chairs were discussed, with one option presented by Johnson, estimated to be approximately $2,500 with tax.

Flooring options were also discussed; cost is expected to be $3,000 to $4,000 for linoleum installation. One possibility mentioned was a floating interlocking system.

Vinyl siding will replace the existing tin covering the building exterior; with the selected colors being willow green with tan trim. The existing top of the front of the building will be preserved and painted.

There will be windows with internal moutons installed; steel exterior and oak interior doors.

The plumbing and heating will be completed by Canton Heating and Cooling.

Haakenstad Electric has also been hired for the electrical portion of the job.

Beautifying the city

The Welcome to Canton sign on Highway 52 is also in the process of being refurbished. The old blocks have been removed and new design completed, with some of the plantings in place. The planned annual plants still need to be placed according to the design plan submitted by The Treehouse.

Lighting possibilities were discussed with the decision to investigate halogen lights.

The existing underground wiring needs to be replaced as well as the lights themselves.

All 10 of the Canton Main Street planters for the Adopt a Planter project have been spoken for and copies of the rules provided to participants. The cost of the plantings, as well as all watering, is the responsibility of the participants, with judging to take place the week of Canton Day Off.

Maintenance issues

Jon Nordsving reported on issues in the city's public works department.

Nordsving stated the sewer service issue between the Erickson and Urbanic residences has been fixed. Prior to the repairs, the sewer line was joined; separate service is now functioning, with water line issues being addressed at the same time.

Costs were assessed to the property owners.

The sewer plant was reported to be functioning with no problems.

There was discussion on the need to trim around the evergreen trees planted on the sewer plant property. Due to the rocky ground around the transplanted trees, mowing may not be possible. Other options were discussed, but no solution was reached.

Nordsving also reported that the city has been using a pump owned by Darin Nordsving for the past couple of years. The pump was new at the time Darin Nordsving loaned it to the city when there was a problem with high water at the plant. It has been on loan ever since and Darin has expressed an interest in selling the pump to the city in exchange for a utility credit.

Although the city owns a pump, it is smaller and is more of a sludge pump, utilized primarily for water line repairs.

The pump the city is considering is larger and pumps more liquid and, according to Jon Nordsving, will be useful at the sewer plant.

No decision was made; it was requested that Jon Nordsving investigate the value of the pump and report back to the council.

The repair of a broken window at the community center has been delayed. K & M Glass in Rochester has been contacted but they notified the city they had to postpone the repair.

The window was broken by a neighborhood child playing near the building and the costs will be assessed to the child's parents once determined.

Variance request

Councilmember Carl Ernst reported on the request for a variance by Darrell and Arlene Blaess.

There has been a carport erected on their property and they were seeking a variance to keep the structure even though there has been some concern voiced.

Once measured, it was determined that the required setback has not been met. In addition, it is also in violation of the requirement for no structures to be in front of the property owner's home. Also in violation is the rule that 30 percent of the lot has to be retained as lawn.

The variance was denied and property owners will be notified that the structure must be removed.

Parking, alley and other issues

Ernst reported a parking issue on Fillmore Avenue. According to Ernst, there was an issue with cars parked in the roadway, limiting traffic to one way. A letter will be sent to the property owner reiterating the need to keep cars parked off the street.

Jamie and Holly Knutson approached the council to request that a common alley, shared with Tyler Newman, be vacated by the city.

After review of the location of the alley, the Knutsons were advised as to the process they would have complete for the city to do this.

There was no council opposition, but the costs for vacating the requested portion of the alley will need to be determined and paid by the affected property owners, a notice will be run in the newspaper and there will need to be a public meeting held with all neighboring property owners notified.

Following the special meeting, a decision can be made on the issue.

Approval was given for the Canton Scotland Presbyterian Church to remove two ash trees from the boulevard.

It was clarified that there is no need for the church to replace the trees with other plantings once removed.

Canton Day Off

Cindy Shanks gave the council multiple updates on the Canton Day Off Celebration.

According to Shanks, it is now possible to order Day Off celebration T-shirts online. The order deadline is July 15th to insure delivery by the celebration. Cost is $20 to $22, including shipping.

A complete up-to-date listing of scheduled events, as well as contact information, is provided online.

For full details, visit or visit the Canton Day Off page on Facebook.