The Preston City Council braved Monday's fierce storm for its June 16 meeting. Discussions included sharing costs for retaining wall repairs and the expansion of the industrial park. Finally, the council heard the 2013 audit report.

Cost Share with Fillmore County

Commissioner Duane Bakke approached the council to discuss the cost share arrangement for the failing retaining wall located on St. Anthony Street along the Nagel and Sunde properties and the brick facing on the 100 block of Fillmore Street West.

Last fall the city contacted the county to address the issues with a possible cost share.

Though he was unable to attend, Fillmore County Engineer Ron Gregg did review the request and Bakke shared that the request had been approved per the county's new policy.

In a written statement Gregg explained, "It has not been determined whether the county participated in either of the two locations, however the county feels justified in participating in this one-time repair. This is similar to the participation in the replacement of curb and gutter and sidewalk on the reconstruction of a County State Aid Highway (CSAH) within the city limits."

Bakke then summarized, "You've got all these funds that come through and basically it's municipal dollars to be used for municipal projects. And you've got municipal repair dollars to use for repairs on these projects. So the money comes and you use it for what you're intended to."

The retaining wall will be a three-way cost share between the city, county and property owners to reconstruct the wall using the existing block. The city retained a quote from Mensink Landscaping for the amount of $3,550.

Work on the brick facing will be paid with a 50/50 cost share between the city and county. The city has received a quote from Van Minsel Brothers Construction, of Spring Grove, for a total $7,680.

"I would certainly want to recognize Duane and the county board for their effort to develop this new policy that we've benefitted from before and now benefit from in this county share project, as well," said city administrator Joe Hoffman. "It's nice to have a good working relationship with the county and highway department and we look forward to continuing that in the future."

The council approved the cost share project and both of the proposed quotes for the work.

Industrial park update

City engineer Brett Grabau was once again front and center as he updated the council on the industrial park progress.

During the previous meeting the council approved a feasibility study and survey for the proposed pond site on the Wingert property.

Grabau explained the proposed regional pond will be approximately 2.95 acres and will support a drainage area of 158 acres, of which 61 acres are already developed and 97 acres are currently undeveloped.

The pond, which is proposed to be located on a portion of Jerald Wingert's property, will be designed to handle what are called two-year, 10-year, 50-year and 100-year storms, meaning during a two-year storm will show 2.92 inches in a 24 hour period; 4.46 for a 10-year storm; 6.67 inches for a 50-year storm; 7.8 inches for a 100-year storm.

Grabau noted that what is now considered the 50-year storm amount was actually the 100-year storm gauge until recently.

Grabau estimates project costs for the pond to be around $114,000 with land acquisition costs of approximately $35,400 and roughly $4,110 for easement costs.

"The truth is with the original feasibility report without doing a mass grading for the industrial park we have no idea how a pond would have fit in there. Now we're moving down here and we are utilizing the existing terrain. There is more excavation and more embankments simply because it has to be a larger pond, but it's a more constructible pond," Grabau surmised.

In fact, though the cost had been a worry when discussing moving the pond off the industrial park site, the estimated amount will be relatively close to the original cost estimates.

The pond will be designed with the future in mind, making prospective development easier as the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will have already approved the drainage reports and the pond will be able to hold all storm water within the 158-acre drainage area, even when fully developed.

"It looks much better than one along (Highway) 52 and it's not that much different in cost," Mayor Kurt Reicks stated.

The council members agreed and quickly approved the feasibility report, water plans and specs.

The tentative timeline shows construction on the industrial park infrastructure could begin by mid-September.

Since these dates are later than expected when the TIF district was approved, the council also amended the start and completion dates in the business subsidy agreements for the affected businesses.

Bluff Country Manufacturing will now have the start date of Sept. 1, 2014, with a completion date of Dec. 31, 2014.

JMS now has a start date of July 1, 2015, and a completion date of Dec. 31, 2015.

The final piece of the industrial park puzzle for the night was to approve the DEED infrastructure grant agreement, which the council did with no discussion.

Audit report

The council heard Pam Ristau's 2013 audit report, which she said showed no issues for Preston's financial situation.

According to the report, the assets of the city exceeded its liabilities by $10,619,337 as its net position, an increase of $130,336 from the previous year. Of this amount, $2,558,047 is considered to be the unrestricted net position and may be used to meet the city's ongoing obligations to their citizens and creditors.

At the close of 2013, the governmental funds combined for a fund balance of $1,778,915. Approximately 84 percent of this total amount ($1,487,141) is available for use.

The unassigned fund balance for the general fund came to $731,536 and the existing debt principal was decreased by $431,744.

"Overall there's not any huge surprises within the document," Ristau concluded. "I feel it was a clean report. Your staff is doing a good job at keeping everybody abreast with what is going on."

The council moved to approve the 2013 audit.

Traffic direction change

During part of the CSAH 17 project, the intersection of St. Paul and Main Street will be closed due to storm water construction.

Hoffman asked the council to authorize two-way traffic for the duration of the closure.

The council approved the motion.

Other business

• The council approved the temporary liquor license request from the Fillmore County Ag Society for use during the Fillmore County Fair held July 23 through July 26.

• Two Twenty-14 Project pay requests were approved. They were Blitz Construction for the south project for a total of $64,443.69 and A-1 Excavating for the north project with a cost of $119,656.02.

• Reicks noted the council's invitation to the Preston Ambulance Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on June 18.

The next regular council meeting will be on Monday, July 7, at 6 p.m.