The Lanesboro City Council informed the public that the Minnesota Department of Health had sent them a letter of direction concerning their current water system during its February meeting.

The letter addressed the city's radium levels in the water and stated it was not in compliance with state regulations. In order to reach compliance by August of 2014, the Department of Health recommended the city complete a study of the city's water system.

Councilman Joe O'Connor said the city had interviewed four engineering firms to complete the study, and they selected Davy Engineering. Jim Kochie from Davy Engineering was on hand to answer any questions about the Preliminary Study Water Quality Report that was completed.

The report suggested the abandonment of city wells one and two and focus on installation of a fourth well that would be treated along with the third well. It was found that well one had damage to its casing including holes and corrosion. It was determined there was no way it could be fixed. Well two was condemned because it is a multi-aquifer system which is not allowed under current state regulations.

In order to make the water system more efficient, the new well would be constructed near well number three. It was determined that a new water treatment plant would also need to be constructed by the third well which is by the south water tower.

This plant would treat water from both the third and fourth wells.

Kochie also recommended in the report to improve the fire flow pressure of downtown hydrants by increasing the size of the pipe to eight inches, which is considered standard diameter.

The report also suggested the installation of an above-ground pressure reducing valve system. Currently, most of the valves are underground or underwater. The above-ground system would create valve stations allowing better access and maintenance.

Kochie presented cost estimates along with each recommendation. The prioritized list reads: 1. well and treatment plant, $2.3 million; 2. Parkway Loop, $330,000; and 3. downtown fire protection area, $266,000.

The city would look for grants such as the Small Cities Development Grant as well as loans to be able to provide the necessary funding. It was noted the city would still have to bond for a portion of the cost, but that it would look for any and all agencies to get funding.

In addition to funding, Kochie suggested the city also acquire land near the third well for another additional well and treatment plant.

It was stated the city would reach compliance by May 2015, which is past the Department of Health's compliance date. For that reason, Kochie told the council they should request an extension to the Department of Health for compliance. The council approved the sending of an extension request to the state.

The council members also agreed to move forward on acquiring the land for the water treatment plant that would reduce radium levels in the water. They also approved a motion to start seeking a funding list for the project.

In another matter of old business, the council approved a motion that would have the Lanesboro Ambulance Service meet with people interested in serving the city, fire department and nearby townships to develop a plan for the future of the ambulance service.

It was noted the motion included the ability of the council to create sub-committees to help. The council also approved a dollar an hour incentive to two on-call ambulance personnel. The incentive would be retroactive to the Jan. 14 meeting.

In other matters, the city council handled the following items.

• The council heard from O'Connor that the bill for bonding dollars for the dam had been submitted through the Senate house.

• The board approved City Clerk Bobby Jo Vickerman to apply for the Playful City designation and, if selected, apply for a grant that would allow the city to purchase playground equipment.

• In a special council meeting on Friday, Feb. 22, City Administrator/Clerk Bobby Jo Vickerman announced her resignation from the position she has held for the past 10 years. The council talked about giving a counter offer, but the resignation had already been submitted. The council approved the resignation and discussed how they would move forward.