In a short meeting, held Jan. 28, at the Chatfield Municipal Building, the Chatfield City Council welcomed back Ken Jacobson as he was sworn in by Clerk Joel Young.

The council approved an engineering proposal from McGhie and Betts, Inc., of Rochester for the city's 2013 street project that would affect Fourth, Fifth and Sixth streets between Twiford and Fillmore.

The cost of the project is estimated at $170,793.10 and would include a complete mill and overlay, curb and gutter, sidewalk and wheelchair ramp and storm sewer work. The proposal also included a list of 10 sewer priority projects.

Councilman Paul Novotny asked if the sewer projects would be dealt with separately. Young mentioned that it would be determined at the next Public Works Committee meeting. City Services Superintendant Tony Lammers pointed out that the work proposed would not affect any alleys, only the approaches to the alleys.

The council expressed appreciation that the work was finally progressing. The council also authorized the creation of plans and specifications for the project proposal.

Pay equity

Young updated the council on the pay equity report he had submitted to the state. Every two to three years, the state requires that each city show that both male and female city workers are being equally compensated.

Young explained to the council that according to a statistical analysis and predicted pay line generated while creating the report, 50 percent of both male and female job classes were below the predicted pay line. "I think that means we are OK," Young stated, noting that they would hear back from the state soon.

He also suggested that the city bring in a payroll consultant before the next pay equity report is due to make sure the city holds true to those numbers.

Councilman training, reports

In a roundtable discussion, Councilman "Pete" Pederson mentioned the orientation he received at the League of Minnesota Cities' annual meeting in Mankato was very helpful in understanding the responsibility he has as a new councilman.

He also updated the board on five concepts that were addressed at the Historical Preservation Committee meeting. Pederson shared that historic buildings are non-renewable resources and should be treated as assets for continued community development, but not everything that is old is worth preserving if it doesn't have those historic resources.

He shared that historic preservation is a public service and responsibility of the city government and saving important historic resources for future generations is always in the public's interest. Pederson also stressed, "effective preservation policies are those that create a partnership between owners of historic properties and city government."

Mayor Dr. Don Hainlen updated the council on his involvement in the League of Minnesota Cities annual meeting as well as his experience at the Minnesota Winter Carnival where he met with mayors from across the state.

Hainlen also thanked all those who showed up at the Help Our Neighbors Health Fair at St. Mary's Catholic Church to help provide information about city services and healthy living options to citizens.

Councilman Jacobson updated the council on the public services committee as well as the parks and recreation committee, which has been considering the development of a small parking area at the beginning of the trail.

Michelle Thorson was approved to be the city pool manager for 2013 with a pay increase of 2 percent that would raise her salary from $4,300 to $4,400.