The Spring Grove City Council reviewed the Main Street rebuild project now underway at its July 16 meeting.

City clerk/treasurer Erin Konkel brought the latest figures on the $2,725,000 bond issue that will pay for the city's share of the work.

Both city accounts, which had a total of $385,825 in engineering fees deducted for work already performed have been reimbursed, she reported.

The city also paid MnDOT $2,008,545 for their share of construction. After an $8,500 charge from Standard & Poor's for bond rating and a $14,250 fee from David Drown & Associates for bonding, the city retains $262,490 in the construction fund and $11,325 in remaining debt service funds.

Most of the construction fund dollars are reserved for any further engineering fees or contingencies.

Roadwork is progressing according to plan, Mayor Bruce Poole reported. "I know it looks like they're digging it up a lot, but it's kind of like building a bathroom in a closet. It's not easy."

Councilman Robert Vogel agreed. "They don't allow open trenches anymore," he noted. "Twenty years ago it would have been different, but now the insurance carriers have them cover things up. But I think they're just about on schedule."

City liquor store discussed

The council reviewed a quarterly report from The Corner Store and decided by consensus to develop a better reporting form for the business so that the profits and losses will be easier to track.

After an extended discussion, members also voted to set hours at the establishment. The Corner Store will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

Police contracts updated

City Attorney Joe Hammell went over both police contracts with council members, eliminating any references to a city administrator.

Since that position no longer exists, exactly whom the officers and the chief report to was set on a case-by-case basis. Topics such as paid time off, leave of absence and scheduling came up in regards to the changes.

For example, some items will now be reported to the mayor while others go to the clerk/treasurer.

SGPD retirement accepted

On a related note, the council accepted the retirement of Spring Grove Police Department administrative assistant Pat Blagsvedt. She will begin using PTO hours on July 19, and officially leave part-time city employment on Sept. 6.

Members voted to hire Stephanie Jaster as interim administrative assistant while advertising for a permanent position.

Policy fails for lack of second

Council member Nancy Nelson made a motion to establish a city policy on donations and expenditures.

She cited documentation from the State Auditor's Office on the process that cities are expected to use to accept donations (by resolution) and donate in turn to other organizations.

When the council donates to events such as festivals, it must be for a "public purpose," Nelson said. Members discussed the issues, but the motion was not seconded.

SWIM Center policy set

Councilmember Lorilyn Dehning reported four pool closures since July 4 due to human waste entering the water. That's significantly more than the average of approximately two closures per swim year, she said.

A motion that swimmers 3 years and younger will be required to wear a swim diaper when entering the pool was approved by unanimous vote.

Dehning also asked members to deduct $5,681 from the next payment to pool management firm USA Pools for items for which the company has not yet reimbursed the city including chemicals, permits and time spent by city employees John Sylling and Gary Sand "to keep pool chemicals in balance." The motion passed with no dissent.

Another closed session held

The council spent 40 minutes in closed session, discussing "personnel matters and consideration of discipline" and the "USA Pools contract and possible litigation."

When the regular meeting resumed, Hammell reported that the personnel item was discussed and "referred to the appropriate people to deal with it" with no council action needed.

"In regard to the USA Pools contract, there was discussion about some non-performance issues, and I'm going to be dealing with those," he said.