New drainage arrangements from last year's Main Street reconstruction caught the eye of some Spring Grove city officials recently.

On April 1, Mayor Bruce Poole asked the Spring Grove City Council to approve repairs to a drain sump at 407 W. Main. "There used to be a culvert under the driveway, and they put this drain on the east side of the culvert," Poole said, "and the culvert that comes out on the west side ties into the drain they ran down the hill.

"This is just like a sump, but it's very dangerous. I looked at it...nobody knew it was there, but now that the snow has melted it's a mess. We need to put a sieve pipe on top and rock around it, and raise it up about a foot and a half, with a new, flat cover on top with holes in it, plus a little landscaping dirt. Right now, if a kid was to be running around there, and trip and fall down in there, he could hit his head on that thing.

Councilmember Nancy Nelson suggested running the plan past the city engineer first, but Poole asked to have utilities director Paul Morken make the alterations immediately. "That pit sitting there is a danger," he stated. The council then agreed, granting Poole's request.

Landscaping agreement approved

The council also voted to approve a landscape partnership agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). The document lists $5,000 as the estimated amount of plant material that MnDOT will reimburse the city for, but a maximum of $8,000 will be made available. Labor and maintenance related to the plantings are the responsibility of the city.

Alley plans get nod

Lee Hoekstra appeared on behalf of Ye Olde Opera House, asking the council to approve a set of plans for improvements to an alley next to that establishment.

"We would like to put in a four by eight foot ramp with steps on it, and a ramp," Hoekstra said. Since the alleyway is one of the principle exits in case of an emergency, the work is needed for safety, he added. The plan also includes adding a bike rack nearby, and a new light near the exit. YOOH also plans to place movable planters near the end of the alley, since it is now a pedestrian right of way, and not intended for vehicles. The council agreed to the plans.

Liquor store brings discussions

Members voted to hire Danyelle Van Minsel to fill in part-time at the Corner Store. In addition, the council reviewed a recent Minnesota Department of Health inspection on the facility. Nelson noted that the document found the store "very clean," with only one recommendation - the addition of a separate sink for employee hand washing. Quotes for that are now being taken. Nelson also presented a draft for a new financial reporting form for the Corner Store, which members reviewed. By consensus, the form will be refined for future use.

Roller derby at the Fest building?

Finally, the council discussed a message from Jennifer Dehning, who asked if members of the Mississippi Valley Mayhem roller derby team could rent the Fest building for practices.

The team would use the facility for two to three hours on one or two nights per week, city clerk/treasurer Erin Konkel reported. The group has its own insurance, so the city would not be liable for any injuries, she said.

"They're not rowdy, they don't cause harm to anything," Konkel stated. "Their practices aren't super-intense. They do a lot of conditioning and drills..."

Poole asked if the walls may be damaged, or the floors scratched. Members agreed that the group would have to sign a contract, agreeing to pay for any damages.

Councilmember Lorilyn Dehning suggested charging a $100 security deposit, $200 first day rent, plus an additional charge of $50 for each additional day. "It's income," she noted. The team would have to sign up on the schedule with other users. Dehning also said that the practices would not affect too many other users, since they would not be held on weekends. Her motion passed by unanimous vote.