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Randall Park reopens, council considers Windmill Estate sewer

Spring is welcomed by City

SOLON– Spring arrived late, Randall Park reopened, and the council prepared to spend more money to support growth at an April 17 city council meeting.
Council members also approved a seasonal, part-time landscaping position for the city as they moved through a packed agenda.
“Randall Park is open and getting used,” said Scott Kleppe, director of public works. “Last Friday there were probably 15 parents and kids down there as we were seeding.”
Outgoing City Administrator Cassandra Lippincott reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had approved the improved project request for Randall Park, and a check would be forthcoming. Council also approved a resolution to add LED lighting to the existing utility pole at the park to improve illumination of the playground.
A part-time, seasonal position for meeting the city’s landscaping needs was approved by council.
“At our joint meeting with the library board back in March we had a discussion with a friends of the library representative and the library board about creating a position through the city for a part-time worker to handle the seasonal landscaping around the library,” said Lippincott.
When the library was built, landscaping was accomplished by volunteers and funded through a restricted donation of money and stock. Three seasons ago, the landscaping committee began engaging a certified master gardener each spring to perform landscaping work on a non-contract basis. The request for a city position would move the work to city payroll, but continue funding by the library landscaping committee, which maintains the autonomous landscaping fund. The position would not impact the library or city budget.
“If we are going to hire a master gardener, we’ve inherited several planting areas that we really don’t have expertise to take care of,” said Kleppe. After discussion, it was determined that the Public Works Department could access the employee for miscellaneous landscaping work; however, such work would be funded by his department.
“We are going to post this position at city hall for 10 days,” said Mayor Pro Tempore Steve Stange. Afterward, applicants would be considered and the position filled.

More sewer lines for Windmill Estates
“We’re ready to move forward on the next phase in our development,” said developer John Schmidt of the Windmill Estates subdivision. “For that to happen, there needs to be a sewer extension.
“I’m here to work with the city on that new sewer line and find out when that would happen. That’s crucial to happen now,” he added.
“What are our options?” asked Stange of Kleppe and City Engineer Dave Schechinger.
“We looked at two options,” replied Schechinger. “One is to try to get the trunk sewer installed. That is a timely and costly endeavor. As you are aware, we estimated that project in the range of $1 million and also need to work with the property owners.”
Schechinger also considered an option to install a temporary lift station on the downstream end of the sewer that the developer would be installing to the property line. An interim lift station would allow the city adequate time to secure funding for the trunk sewer. A lift station would cost about $100,000, according to Schechinger.
“That would still take a few months to get done, but I think we would have that completed at the same time the development was ready to build houses,” he added.
Stange directed the utilities committee to meet with the city engineer and public works director to provide a recommendation to council.

In other business, a motion was approved to place appointment of a new mayor on the May 7 business meeting agenda.
Councilors bid farewell to City Administrator Cassandra Lippincott at her last formal meeting before leaving employment on April 18. The interim city administrator position had been posted and Cami Rasmussen was the sole applicant. A motion to finalize contract negotiations between the city and Rasmussen to fill the position was approved unanimously.
Lisa Green-Douglass, Democratic candidate for county supervisor, introduced herself to council members during citizen comments.
Council approved the consent agenda, which included several building permits and appointment of Deanna Kleinsmith and Jerry Higgins to the library board of trustees.
Kleppe proposed the city acquire a mechanical street sweeper to replace the vacuum sweeper currently in service. He also reported that work on well number four had been completed.
Resolutions passed at the meeting included approval of the final plat and subdivision agreement for Fox Ridge Part 6; and a 2013-2014 budget amendment.
The next meeting of the city council is on Wednesday, April 28, at the public library.