City Council meets
Alcohol beverage licenses for 2012 were approved at the January meeting of the Cottonwood City Council Monday, Jan. 9.
Licenses were approved for Rienerís Grocery, Cottonwood Foods, The Mini-Village and Lowellís Saloon.
In the water report Pat Holthaus noted a 20.8% loss in December with nearly 2.4 million gallons pumped and 1.9 million gallons sold. Loss was way down in 2011 compared to 2010 with 4 million gallons compared to about 14 million gallons in 2010.
Of concern though is that a quarter of the loss for 2011 was in the last two months. They are having some problems with the hydrant at the fire station and are looking at getting it fixed but there has to be a leak somewhere that hasnít surfaced. They are asking citizens to be on the lookout for water leaks.
Holthaus also reported all the testing has come back clean.
In the sewer report Ron Grant said that Roy Uhlenkott deserves an ďattaboyĒ for buying the equipment to test lagoon seepage. It has saved them considerably over renting the equipment or hiring it done as other area communities are finding out.
Grant also reported they had a stroke of luck when fixing the pipe burst problem on the east side of the highway. When digging down they uncovered a buried manhole, right next to the current manhole, that was about to cave in. The problem was this buried manhole was still connected to the system and would have created major problems if it had collapsed. There was no record made of this manhole being buried when the current one was put in when the highway bypass went through.
Jack Duman reported there wasnít much going on in the streets department. Heís still trying to find some grant opportunities.
Shelli Schumacher reported there are some new inside doors in the hall. One that has a lock was installed in the wrong place and will be moved upstairs so they will be able to lock the kitchen when it isnít needed for hall events.
She also reported her senior citizen exercise class is so well attended that they need to move upstairs to the main hall. She proposed a $100/month charge to her group. They would be using it approximately 2 hours per week. Jack Duman made a motion to do so that was passed.
Loretta Riener, representing the class of 2012 graduation party, requested a fee waiver for use of the hall for the graduation party. It had been held at Greencreek the last couple of years but that hall had already been booked for a wedding reception. Schumacher made a motion to waive the fee and it was seconded and passed by the council.
In the fire report, Grant noted they have crews working on the ceiling in the fire station. The firemen tried to do it themselves but felt it was better left to someone else. An offender crew from NICI was in Monday doing some of the demolition to get ready for the new ceiling.
He reported they had 2 fire calls. One was a chimney fire that didnít amount to much. The other was the railroad tie fire, which could easily have gotten out of hand. Grant feels a letter to the railroad line owner would be in order to ask them to clean up the ties as they are a safety hazard.
The question of a break on the Royale Room utility costs requested by Cottonwood Credit Union was discussed and then tabled for lack of followup on paperwork from the Credit Union.
Once the unfinished business was completed, the recently re-elected mayor and council members were all sworn in.
Ron Grant was then elected council president. He would chair the council meetings when the mayor is absent.
Appointments were made and approved.
Grant will be sewer, sanitation, stormwater and fire commissioner.
Holthaus will continue as water commissioner.
Jack Duman will continue as streets and bridges commissioner.
Schumacher will continue as land and buildings commissioner.
Carol Altman was re-appointed as city clerk/treasurer.
Terry Cochran was re-appointed as chief of police.
Joe Wright was re-appointed as city attorney.
Roy Uhlenkott as city public works and maintenance supervisor.
Appointment of the fire chief is pending results of the fire department elections which will be next Monday.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will need a replacement for Todd Stenzel who has moved to Grangeville.
In other new business Uhlenkott suggested getting permission in writing to take out the railroad crossings on Broadway and on the street past the city maintenance shop that turns into Graves Creek Road.
The council wanted to take discussion of the VEBA health reimbursement accounts for city employees to an executive session but city attorney Wright said he doesnít feel that falls under the guidelines of what can be taken to executive session.
Ron Grant reported he had discussed this program with the city employees. 3 were in favor, 1 was ambivalent and their newest employee didnít feel he knew enough about the options to have an opinion.
It was decided, on a unanimous roll call vote, to go ahead with the program.
The council meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m. The next regular meeting will be Monday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.