Historic Preservation Committee honors
library for protecting historic resources
Monday, June 17, 2013 9:39 AM
The Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) of Chatfield presented its annual award for historic preservation at the June 10 Chatfield City Council meeting.
HPC President Robert Vogel introduced the award and explained it was given every May to "an individual or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the preservation, protection and use of Chatfield's historic resources."
The award, Vogel explained, had been given out since 2009. He went on to share that it doesn't necessarily matter if the building is old, so long as it enhances the heritage value.
With that, he explained that this year's award would be given to the public library. "In a way this is like presenting the award to ourselves," he joked, recognizing the efforts the city has put in to the library.
In introducing the library, he briefly went over its history. The city had received a grant from the Carnegie Foundation to build a public library in 1911 and it was opened as a state-of-the-art facility in 1915. Fast forward to 1997, the library was viewed as functionally obsolescent because it wasn't easily accessible. This sparked a major renovation, which added an elevator and increased its size.
Vogel mentioned the building has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982. "This is one of the awards where you give the award sooner or give the award later," he concluded.
Mayor Russell Smith presented a plaque to library board chair Sharlene Owens and library director Monica Erickson, recognizing the library's accomplishment. "It's something that I'm proud of in Chatfield and I think most people are," Smith said.
Councilman Robert Pederson said they deserved it and it is impressive how many people use it.
City attorney resigns
In his mayoral report, Russell Smith announced the resignation of Matthew J. Opat as the city prosecutor due to his appointment as judge for the Fillmore County Third Judicial District. In his letter, Opat expressed his thanks and appreciation for the more than 30 years of being able to serve Chatfield. His resignation would be effective June 26.
Councilman Ken Jacobson congratulated him on moving on to bigger and better things. The council accepted the resignation.
Clerk Joel Young told the council that the city needed to move quickly to find a new prosecuting attorney through an application and interview process.
Public works report
City superintendent Tony Lammers asked the council for approval for city hall re-roofing bids. He also explained the city is still looking for the right skylights that won't affect the warranty of the roof.
He brought up an issue with some downtown sidewalks and others in the city that had been projected to be replaced this summer. He mentioned the sidewalk running through the center of city park has several lips and is getting wavy. John Baker Concrete was accepted as the contractor for the project.
Urban asked if the path in the park would be widened. Lammers said it would remain at current width.
Urban also asked if a PVC pipe could be run under the path for electrical cords used during Western Days in order to prevent tripping. Lammers said he would ask, but that it could lead to heaving during the winter.
Around 1,200 square feet of concrete will be replaced where the trees were in downtown. The city is also looking at grating for those spots. In addition, multiple spots in town will be replaced. It will be funded through the city's sidewalk replacement plan.
Pederson addressed the topic of paving streets in west Chatfield from his Public Works Committee update. "There are more crushed rock streets in Chatfield than just that street," he explained saying the city has to look at all the parts that aren't blacktop.
"It would be nice to have everything blacktop," he added. "The question is how we get this accomplished." He said there has been discussion on this for 15 years.
Pederson also said the city is considering looking into having a change in engineering firm. He said nothing is set and the city may not change, but to expect future information on the topic.
There could possibly be signage for the new crosswalk by the future Kwik Trip. Mayor Smith commented that people have noticed the old hotel being knocked down and the new Kwik Trip is going to create a hub of activity where the crosswalk will be needed. The city's engineers are in discussion with the state to see if they will allow another sign.
The city is waiting to find out if they will receive a federal grant to aid in extending water to the new industrial park. Pederson also said a priority list for sewer line updates was being worked on by Daryl Haner at the wastewater treatment plant.
In other business, the council handled the following issues.
The council approved the fire department's request to purchase grain bin rescue equipment. The department had received donations totaling near $3,900 for the $7,400 equipment and were reported as being confident in raising the remaining funds. Mayor Smith said, "If the availability of this helps save a life somewhere down the road, it's money well spent."
Young told the council the city computer server needed replacing according to the replacement schedule the city had. It will cost just over $14,000 from the reserve fund for capital goods. The council approved the replacement.
Jacobson suggested people lock their doors when they are out of their home. He said there was a recent robbery on his street in the middle of the day. Smith said people should not hesitate to call the police if they feel there is someone on a street who shouldn't be there.