"This year, there is a lot of stuff that might happen that would be exciting," said Chatfield Mayor Russell Smith at the start of the city's first council meeting of 2014.

He mentioned possible bonding money for the Center for the Arts as being a big deal if it happens.

"There are a lot of things that might change the way Chatfield looks. It's an exciting time," he added, welcoming the council members back.

Veterans memorial

Jerry Baudoin from the Chatfield American Legion Club visited the council with some more information regarding the proposed veterans' memorial in Chatfield City Park. A previous proposal presented to the council had both the old memorial and the flagpole being moved to make room for a new memorial.

Baudoin had spoken with the individual who had erected the current war memorial and had come to the conclusion that moving it would be too difficult.

The new memorial, which will be engraved by Lewiston Monument Company, will be approximately six feet in height and four feet wide. According to Baudoin, the stone will have room for around 550 names dating back to World War II. The Methodist Women's Club is proofreading the names to make sure none appear on the stone that are already on the other war memorial. Baudoin explained the city would have an option of purchasing two companion stones for the engraving of future names.

The VFW and American Legion are also selling pavers for inscribed memorials at $250 each. The pavers would be installed along a walkway leading to the main monument as well as around the monument itself. Two benches will line the walkway and Baudoin said he would be expecting larger businesses or groups to sponsor them.

Several council members asked Baudoin how the companion stones would affect the nearby memorial and cannon. Councilman Paul Novotny said he would want this new memorial to be the only one instead of having to add more stones in the future. He added he wanted to make sure the proposed monument was big enough, but that it was also put in the right place.

Councilman Mike Urban asked if they could be shown what the monument would look like with the companion stones. Baudoin said the company did not have the companion stones yet.

A discussion took place on how the number of pavers would affect the size of the walkway and where it was placed. Urban said he was on board with the idea, but voiced his reluctance in approving the building of the monument since there seemed to be "a lot of moving parts."

Councilman Robert Pederson asked if the plan could be staked out in the park to give the parks and recreation committee and the council a better idea of what it would look like.

The project, which had been brought up last fall, is expected to be completed by mid-June next summer. Urban asked if the city could wait two weeks, figure out how the monument would fit in the park, and then move forward in having the names engraved on the stone.

Baudoin said the wait would be fine, but told the council that the monument company would start getting very busy with other projects after winter. The council will meet with the Parks and Rec Committee and determine how the monument will fit among the other war memorial and cannon.

Committee reports

Novotny updated the council on what was discussed at the Public Works committee meeting. He explained that the scope of the city's feasibility report for the 2014 street and utility projects hadn't changed, but that some of the cost estimates were determined to be higher than originally planned. Novotny reported the city was going to check the projects' financing again to determine if it can afford to do all the projects in 2014 or be forced to move one into 2015.

Novotny also clarified some confusion surrounding the engineering proposals for the St. Albans Place utility and road improvement project. The city engineer, WSB, and local engineering firm G-Cubed had submitted proposals to the city. Having been confused on how the two proposals compared to each other in work and cost, the council had tabled the issue at its Jan. 30 special meeting to obtain a clearer understanding.

The council received a memo showing an "apples-to-apples" comparison of the two proposals. G-Cubed's proposed cost was $11,500 compared to WSB's $24,600. Novotny explained that if the council were to go with G-Cubed for the St. Albans improvements, that WSB would simply eliminate the St. Albans project from its itemized list of work to be done. The memo also explained that G-Cubed was not interested in competing for the other road and utility projects.

The company had done much of the work in the St. Albans area in years past and so felt it could provide services more efficiently. The council approved G-Cubed to do the work on St. Albans Place.

Tony Lammers, public works director, shared that the sewer jetting project had successfully cleaned 24,773 feet of line. There were three manhole castings and covers replaced. He also said a few water main breaks had occurred, mostly with four-inch diameter mains. "It's that time of year again," he said.

Lammers also reported a new mixing pump was going to be installed in the water tower. He added that two LED lights were going to be installed in downtown to see if they would be an improvement.

In the mayor's report, Smith encouraged members of the public to consider stepping into recently opened committee positions. "It's a great opportunity to see how decisions are made in the city, why they are made, and to help make those decisions," he stated. Those interested can contact Smith or the clerk's office.