Prior to the regularly scheduled council meeting last Wednesday, April 9, members of the Canton City Council received a tour of the former city-owned liquor store building.

The demolition of the internal walls is nearly complete and the tin ceiling was visible through the exposed building rafters. The possibility of preserving the ceiling was discussed, with the option of soda blasting mentioned to remove the old paint.

It was also mentioned there is another section of ceiling that could possibly be used to replace damaged parts of the front portion of the building ceiling, should it be necessary.

Possible locations of the infrastructure were also discussed, as well as the need to replace floors and heating and cooling systems and relocate the door to the south side of the building, making it handicapped accessible.

The council members then returned to the community center for the regular meeting.

As part of the meeting, possible contacts to obtain quotes for further reconstruction were suggested, with Tweten Construction and Adam Schultz mentioned. A tentative floor plan was also reviewed for the most efficient use of the interior space for the city offices.

Mayor Donivee Johnson stated that although quotes would be obtained, it would most likely be unreasonable to expect that any estimated costs of construction would be unchanged, given the condition of the building and issues that will certainly arise once reconstruction starts.

Maintenance report

Sewer and water functions were updated by city maintenance worker Jon Nordsving. There are no longer issues with freezing, but Nordsving anticipated that the bacteria counts would be off this month due to the extended winter's effect on the waste water treatment plant's operation.

Monthly maintenance issues were also discussed, including the replacement of the RAZ pump, new wiring and street lights.

Approval was given for the purchase of a plate tamper to be used for concrete work and also in the repair of water leaks.

In the past, when Nordsving needed a tamper, he had to rent one at a minimal cost of $50, which also resulted in a time delay for repairs.

The cost of a used machine had been investigated, but decided that, given the usage of any machine, the condition would most likely be questionable, especially since the price was not much less than new.

It was decided to proceed with the purchase of a new tamper, anticipated to be approximately $1,000.

Property concerns

Updates on the Danny Whalen property were given by Clerk Lolly Melander.

Melander stated that Whalen has received a letter giving him 30 days to clean up his property to comply with the City Junk Yard ordinance and if not in compliance, will be issued tickets on a daily basis.

Melander stated she believed the letter was issued on March 28 or March 29.

City sign, beautification

The refurbishment of the Canton city sign and planter, located on the Highway 52 frontage, was discussed at length.

Mayor Johnson had obtained an estimate on the block planter construction and landscaping of the planter from The Treehouse and a drawing was reviewed by the council.

The replacement of the wiring for the lights was a part of the discussion, with the need to trench in new wiring anticipated as necessary.

Nordsving and Jim Davis will tear down the old planter in preparation for the new construction.

Approval was given to proceed on the city landscaping project, at a cost of $4,012.80, which included all materials and plantings, both perennial and annual plants.

According to Cindy Shanks, there has been interest in the Adopt a Planter project, with at least three interested persons.

It was decided that a letter will be written, outlining the guidelines for the program, to be given to all of the persons or businesses committing to the project.

It was decided that the plant purchase will be the responsibility of the participants and all planting should be completed by Memorial Day weekend.

In addition, the removal of all plants will be required at the end of the growing season.

Canton Day Off

Shanks also gave an update on the Canton Day Off Celebration, with progress being made in many areas.

Picnic table construction for the shelter area is planned. There will also be the need to rent tables for the weekend.

A PayPal account has been set up for the payment of entry fees and T-shirt purchases on line.

The poster and flyer has been finalized.

The dunk tank has been ordered, with an organization to operate still to be determined. The kids and fireworks events are being finalized.

There continues to be a need for more vendors; any interested persons should contact a committee member or the Canton City office.

Canton EDA?

Nick Prestby was in attendance to ask the council about the possibility of forming a Canton Economic Development Authority (EDA).

He expressed his desire to contact the Dollar General Corporation regarding the construction of a store in Canton. He felt the city should be able to provide some concessions to the company in exchange for a commitment to locate in Canton.

Johnson stated the city of Canton does not have the resources nor could it purchase any land for construction; that would be an EDA responsibility.

In addition, the city does not have the funds or bodies to form a Canton EDA and has opted to be a part of the Fillmore County EDA instead.

Johnson stated the council would have no objections to Prestby contacting Chris Giesen of the EDA concerning his feelings on the matter, since he expressed an interest in doing so.

Canton Historical Society

The Canton Historical Society meeting scheduled for April 14 was discussed.

According to Johnson, the group now has tax exempt status.

Progress is continuing on the transfer of the depot property from Larry Huber, formerly of Austin and now living in Los Angeles, Calif., to the Canton Historical Society.

Plans for improving the property, once it is transferred, as well as the process for fundraising to complete those plans was to be discussed at the meeting on Tuesday. See next week's News-Record for more information on that meeting.

A letter has been sent to area residents, seeking new members, ideas and assistance in developing the building.

The city of Canton has pledged $10,000 from the Vail Account towards the project.

Vail funds are earmarked for city improvement.

Other business

Approval was given to the issuance of a fire department liquor license for the Miria Hall wedding on May 10.

Prestby also stated that he is responsible for the Legion sign by the post office and had questions regarding the power source. Nordsving explained there have been no issues in the past with the wiring and to his knowledge, the ballasts had been replaced.