At the Devils Lake City Commission meeting Monday afternoon one of the main topics of discussion was the temporary closure of 5th Street and the East Viaduct, a major artery for city traffic.
According to City Engineer Mike Grafsgaard the badly needed repairs will begin Tuesday and if all goes well and the weather cooperates the closed street will be reopened either before the weekend or shortly thereafter.
“It depends on what we find when we open it up,” Grafsgaard said.
“We will remove the concrete, repair the storm sewer and complete repairs to the street’s surface.”
Anyone driving through the viaduct knows about the need for these repairs, how rough the roadway has become. Grafsgaard emphasized the importance of these repairs and his concern about safety because of the condition of the concrete and what is happening below the surface of the street.
More work is planned for the whole street, but not until the next budget cycle because of the classification of Urban Roads.
Monday’s regular meeting of the commission began with visitor, Stan Orness thanking the city and everyone involved for all the help with the Devils Run. He said although numbers were down this year, mainly because of the weather, he still thought the event was a success. “We had 720 cars and some years we’ve had over 1,000, but the weather had a lot to do with it, I think, this year and there was the Shriner’s Convention and a couple big weddings and graduation - there are only so many motel rooms to go around,” he said.
“I want to thank everyone from the city and all the volunteers, without their help, Devils Run would not happen.”
A second visitor, John Dahlen had a question for the commission about electrical service provided within the city.
He was told the only company that has a franchise to provide electricity in the city limits is Otter Tail, no one else has approached the city for one.
Third visitor, Jessica Rayme-Gillam wanted to give the commission a heads up on a protest that is merely in the planning stages right now.
She inquired about the city’s laws regarding protests and was told that there is an ordinance that exists against allowing protests on city streets.
When she was told that, she questioned why Right to Life protesters were allowed to picket each year.
She said she and others are working on a protest where the Spirit Lake Casino is targeted by a boycott to draw attention to the needs of the children of the reservation. She said the recent death of a toddler brought the issue to the forefront once again.
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Under Commission Portfolio Reports, Myron Asleson reported that aerial mosquito spraying would take place July 2 or if it rains that day, the only other day available was July 6.
The development agreement for the Sleep Inn Motel was discussed and the city agreed to the terms provided a signed easement was granted for utilities.
Lots 10 and 11 in Block 5 of the Roundhouse Division were requested for purchase. That request was approved.
Grafsgaard informed the commission of the water tour the Joint Board is sponsoring on Wednesday which will include a visit to Henegar Landing and the city’s water treatment facility.
A ten-item consent agenda was approved by the commissioners.
Under New Business an additional position for the Fire Department was discussed and tabled, as were development agreements with Dahlen and Lafleur.
They did approve a contract for collection of city sales, use and gross receipts taxes, a $1,000 donation to the Fire Department for fireworks for the 4th of July and the release of an easement to allow the 3rd Ave. NE plans to go forward.
The commission approved a resolution approving issuance of Senior Housing Refunding Revenue Bonds Series 2013 for the Heartland Care Center Project and resolutions approving the preliminary report directing plans and specifications for street improvement district for 16th St. SE and declaring the necessity of that street improvement district.
A resolution was also approved to set the liability on the commercial blanket bond of the City of Devils Lake.
Bills were paid and reports entered into record from the city auditor, the fire department, the municipal court and the police department.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Devils Lake City Commission will be Monday, July 1 at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall.