Troutman Gavel Changes Hands
TROUTMAN – After 14 years on the Troutman City Council, including the past four as mayor, Marlene Young passed her gavel to Dwight “Dewey” Gunnarson and said farewell. The first meeting of the year was a chance for the new council to get organized and address a few issues, including the purchase of a new snow plow. Gunnarson, new council member Corey Czycalla and returning councilor Shelly Jonas were simultaneously sworn in, after which Gunnarson called Young forward to accept a plaque recognizing her service to the city.
“It has been an honor to be able to serve the citizens of Troutman and to work with such fantastic people who I know have the heart of Irdell County with them always,” said Young. ”So continue the great work, and thank you so much. It has been a pleasure.” Following applause and embraces with city staff, Young departed and the new council settled down to work.
After initially looking at the purchase of a new snow plow last spring, which might have brought some savings but was not budgeted for in 2014, the council approved the purchase of a new 2015 model last week. The new plow will replace a 2000 model year truck. The purchase had been budgeted for 2015, and the city’s capital plan calls for the replacement of plow trucks every 12 years.
The new truck had a cost of just under $78,800, and the necessary equipment will cost about $101,500. It will not be available for this snow season, but should be ready for city use in August or September. At that point the city will attempt to sell the old plow truck, which has an estimated value of $40,000. Another focus for the council during the meeting was the state of the decking at the pavilion in Municipal Park. Last year the rear deck was replaced with maintenance-free material, and city staff will use the same material to refurbish the front deck this year.
Actual work will have to wait until spring, but the council approved the purchase of $9,420.23 in materials from Maple Lake Lumber, a purchase that has been planned and budgeted for.Finally, the council approved a two-year extension of a contract with Wright County to provide assessment services in the city. There was no increase in the contract rate of $10.50 per parcel for the next two years. “I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t,” City Administrator Kelly Hinnenkamp told the council. “They’ve been great to work with and they do a good job.” The council agreed, approving the contract without further discussion.
Council members also approved a new fee schedule for 2015 without discussion. The water use rate rose 10 cents to $3.35 per thousand gallons, storm sewer rates increased 10 cents and the rate for the wastewater treatment plant increased 50 cents to $6.25 per thousand gallons. The sewer rate rose 20 cents to $2.60 per thousand gallons. As for garbage disposal, the rates for each size container increased 25 cents.
Rental rates for the pavilion also rose either $25 or $50 depending on the day and the portion of the building used. The fees now range from $50 for weekday use of the upper level to $200 for weekend use of the lower level. Those increases were needed to cover maintenance and insurance costs. Another change is the addition of a $250 fee for a brewery off sale license, and there were additional changes to copying fees since city hall can now make color copies and burn CDs or DVDs.
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