In order to disguise the fact that several buildings in Lanesboro are vacant, the city's Economic Development Authority (EDA) has suggested placing historic decals into the windows of each of these buildings. The idea behind this is to make the buildings appear as though they are not vacant. The hope is that showing some attention to the building would attract people to possibly buy it for a specific purpose rather than leaving them vacant.

The EDA would fund these decals, which could be purchased from Kelly Printing. One concern about this would be if the decals are put onto the windows and the next month the building is purchased. However, the council considered this to be a good problem to have and the money still would have been well spent.

Once these decals would be fitted to the windows, they could not be reused in another window. Each of them would fit the style of the building and made to fit that specific window. The council and a few members of the community expressed this would be a great addition to the buildings.

Mayor Steve Rahn did suggest current owners of the buildings could chip in to help pay for this opportunity since it would be improving their buildings.

Construction for the well

City Administrator David Todd related to the council there would be a six-week delay in constructing the well for the city due to the mud and road bans.

"It is so muddy at the site the trucks cannot get in yet," he stated.

At the same time, near the site of construction, there is a barn erected which would pose as a limiting factor in the ability of the contractor to construct the well. The barn does have a complete roof, but many of the side-boards are missing.

The council granted a resolution to tear down the barn prior to the beginning of construction. The plan will be to tear down the barn as much as possible and by the time construction begins, the contractor will have permission to remove it the rest of the way if it some still remains.

Girl's Day Out

Girl's Day Out is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 3, this year. Sarah Pieper presented several additions to this year's program to the council. In order to cover all the bases, Pieper discussed the possibility of needing any permits for having music during the afternoon. This would not be a band, but a mike for musicians to perform for others with quiet music.

The occasion does require a permit for the $25 sidewalk sale. The question arose if businesses setting up merchandise on the sidewalks would need to apply for a separate permit from the city. The council decided those businesses participating in the sidewalk sale would be covered under the one permit.

Along with this came the question of insurance during the sidewalk sale. Pieper questioned if the businesses would require insurance at all or if their own insurance would cover their merchandise during the sale. The council concluded she discuss the question with their insurance holder.

Another portion of the sale, making its debut, is a walking fashion show. Models for each of the shops would wear the clothing and jewelry sold in the shop to attract shoppers into the store. These models would be walking up and down the sidewalk as a pedestrian and holding a sign detailing which shop represented.

The council approved the permit for the sidewalk sale.

Parking request

Phil Dybing approached the council with a petition to set aside two parking spaces at the corner grocery store for 30-minute parking.

"One is already in place on the corner, but it would be ideal to have two such parking spaces," he stated.

His suggestion is to keep the current 30-minute parking space where it is but to also add another one among the diagonal parking spaces.

The concern was broached of tourists parking there and it is not known how long they are actually there. Dybing related he is hoping people would comply with the signs out of common courtesy.

Brush dump concern

Dybing also voiced concern over the location of the brush dump for Lanesboro. He hoped to prompt discussion and suggestions for any other options for the dump.

He suggested having the dump in a place of higher altitude, allowing for prevailing winds to take the smoke away from the town.

Street concerns

Street supervisor Andy Drake informed the council the last street work done in Lanesboro happened in 2008. Several streets need to be pulverized in order to fix them up. He stated the streets Lanesboro has now were not built for the trucks that are driving over them today.

He suggested putting together a street repair plan and prioritizing streets to see what the cost would be for repairing those in the worst condition.

Equipment needs

Out-of-date Lanesboro city office equipment spurred the investigation into bids from Dell and HP for new office equipment. Todd stated the city would be going with Dell, based on the cost and the warranty offered. Public Utilities would fund the purchase up to 70 percent leaving the city with a $480 bill.

Todd received quotes from John Deere and Case for a new backhoe. Public Utilities would like to defer a purchase, however, though Todd expressed a desire to go ahead. He stated Case had the best quote, and the longer the backhoe is used, the more it depreciates. He also noted the current backhoe already needs new tires and he would prefer trading it in than perform maintenance on it.

Drake also asked the council for permission to look for bids for a new six-foot roadside mower as the current one is now 18 years old. The council granted this request

Other business

The council approved several requests for street closure for specific reasons. One request was from Jennifer Rodgers to allow alley closure for a graduation party on June 1. A second was a request for a closure for a block party to take place on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 presented by Jason Resseman who has already spoken to all except two of the block residents. The final request included blocking two parking spaces in front of the St. Mane Theatre for about an hour-long street dance. All of the requests were approved by the council.

The Lanesboro Public Library requested access to the softball field for the Rhubarb Run to take place on June 6. The council approved the request.

Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Dee Slinde asked the council to work together with the chamber and the EDA since their strategic plans overlap.

The council approved a request from the Buffalo Bill Days committee for a liquor and gambling license.

The council expressed its gratitude for the hard work the plows dedicated to removing snow during this uniquely harsh winter. Drake related they still have half the sand and salt they purchased for the winter and the liquid brine they have utilized this winter has paid for itself.

Todd reminded the council of the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting set for Monday, April 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dybing stated a quorum is required for the meeting.