Canton City Council gave its approval to the well head project at its regular July meeting, held following a special session held to discuss the project at 6:30 that same evening, Wednesday, July 10.

Following the presentation by Pat Bailey, representing the state of Minnesota, (see related story in this issue) the council vote was unanimous to approve the project and move to the next phase.

Following approval, the report was to be filed with the state of Minnesota department of health. The next step would be for the city to apply for grants to aid in the funding of the recommendations described in the report.

Storm damage

Jon Nordsving reported on the meeting with Kevin Beck, Fillmore County Emergency Management and FEMA regarding damages sustained due to flooding in the area.

According to Nordsving, there was some damage at the wastewater treatment plant due to excessive water emptied into the plant after excessive rainfall.

Sources of infiltration for the increased water flow were also discussed as part of adding to the problem.

According to Nordsving, the city may have manhole cover issues. Some of the covers are older, possibly allowing additional rainfall to enter the sewage system, increasing the amount of waste entering the treatment plant.

Another option discussed was the installation of risers to bring the manholes up to street level.

Nordsving continued, outlining options to reduce the amount of rainwater entering the system. One option would be to install a low cost cap, estimated to cost about $40 each, if needed to control the flow or be used to help locate problem manholes.

There was additional discussion as to whether these repairs could possibly be paid for with FEMA funds if the county qualifies for aid.

Another factor contributing to the increased flow may possibly be the usage of sump pumps in the city, emptying additional water into the treatment plant as well. This water should instead be pumped out of the structure, not into the existing structure drain if connected to the city sewer system.

The council discussed possible inspections of sump pump drainage in Canton residences. The city also discussed fining property owners if inspections are not allowed or if they are not complying with the regulations associated with the usage of sump pumps.

Other options discussed included smoke testing the sewer lines, which is estimated to cost $225 an hour. This would be helpful in locating problem areas in the system, if necessary.

It was decided that the first step is to survey the manhole covers and prioritize needed repair areas. If needed, grant options may be explored to assist with replacement and repairs.

It was reported that the League of Minnesota Cities insurance had paid the claim for water damage at the wastewater treatment plant. This was the second claim; the first submitted in 2010.

There were no updates on street repairs or sidewalk replacement due to maintenance issues within the city due to the recent high rainfall totals.

Liquor store closure

The impending closure of the City Liquor Store was again a topic of discussion. A letter of recommendation from the city attorney, Dick Nethercut, was reviewed.

This letter indicated that although there may be some concern as to ongoing operation of the business if sold, some decisions needed to be determined by the city regarding possible stipulations if the business is assumed by a new owner.

It was decided that sealed bids for the property only would be the best option for the city.

The right of first refusal option was discussed as well as the revocation of the liquor license if the business fails. The actual cost of the license also needs to be determined.

Any people interested are asked to contact the city office with questions and requirements.

It was also decided that the clerk, Lolly Melander, would contact the nine people who have expressed an interest in the property.

The actual language of the contract will be determined by the city attorney.

Criminal record access

Approval was also given to the joint powers agreement, Resolution No. 07-2013, enabling the Nethercut and the police department to access BCA and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety information, expanding their respective access to information needed by both the attorney and police department in city matters. This expanded access was requested by the city attorney.

According to the resolution, the agreement is for five years and there is to be no cost to the city. Either side has the ability to cancel with 30-day notice.

Unmowed properties

Mowing issues within the city for unmaintained lawns was discussed, especially on properties that have been neglected for more than five years.

It was decided that the costs assessed to the property owners would be increased to $65 plus an additional $25 administration fee to $90 per hour for mowing of unmaintained property. The cost is assessed to the property taxes of the homeowner.

Town hall windows

Cindy Shanks also reported that the windows purchased for the Canton Town Hall with funds from the Rockwell Collins grant have arrived.

Since the town hall is reported to be booked through the third weekend in August, it was decided that an installation date in September would be determined.

Volunteers will be needed to complete the project. Anyone interested in assisting with the installation is urged to contact the Canton city office.

Other business

In other matters, the council discussed the following issues.

• Approval was given for the American Legion liquor license for the Nordsving wedding dance to be held on July 20 at the town hall.

• Approval was also given to issuance of a building permit to Brad and Barb Kerns to build a 64 x 46 house with attached garage.

• Cindy Shanks reported on the D & R inspection of the city park playground. According to Shanks, the regular playground passed the general inspection, but additional work is needed for handicapped accessibility. There was some discussion regarding installation of mats to allow access to areas for handicapped persons. The cost is to be investigated and will be reported at a later meeting.

• Concern was again expressed regarding the Danny Whalen property. The sheriff's office is to be contacted regarding the issue.