By Jean Doran Matua, Editor
At its July 6 regular meeting, the Kimball city council heard from Kimball Express manager Tom Marquardt about the ball field. The condition of the left field, which is “sitting on a bunch of muck,” has become a safety issue. The outfield fence posts are set about 4 feet deep, but the muck in left field is 10 feet deep. The fence has already been re-set once, after hail damage, but that’s not the permanent fix needed. It could be costly to repair properly, but the Express is trying to raise money for a grandstand and lighting; they currently have about $35,000 of the $100,000 needed for that. Marquardt seeks the help of the city to pay for repairs on the field that is used for amateur baseball, but also for high school and Legion ball, Kimball Days tournaments, and other events throughout the year. (No decision was made at this meeting.)
The council accepted a bid for repainting the windows on City Hall.
Public Works got quotes for a new snow plow and the hydraulics required for it.
The council approved purchase of a new flow meter for wastewater treatment at $2,970 (including installation). The bid for rebuilding the 1984 meter is $1,985 and would only be guaranteed for two years (on a meter that is nearly 40 years old). Public Works director Chad Koren strongly recommended purchase of a new meter.
The council discussed seal-coating of streets in town. There is $20,000 set aside in the capital improvement fund for this. There is only one company that makes the product used in Kimball (without the tar and little rocks). It was last done in 2019, and before that in 2009.
The council agreed to join the Minnesota Association of Small Cities for 2021-22, at $479.10. Clerk Nicole Pilarski feels they have been beneficial to the city in the past, and they focus on small cities only, where the League of Minnesota Cities is for cities of all sizes.
The city is eligible to apply for additional funds to meet the shortfall on the Kimball Library project (not counting furniture and equipment which are not grant-eligible).
The city also plans to apply for Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds available through the American Rescue Plan Act. The dollar amounts available to cities under 50,000 population have not yet been released, though.
At its June 1 meeting, William Serbus talked to the council about his Eagle Scout project, to install a Fire Department sign by the Fire Hall. The council was generally in favor of the project, but costs and permits needed to be looked into. At the June 24 work session, the Fire Department agreed to pay the costs (which could be $7-8,000). Fire chief Dave Traurig will coordinate with Serbus on the project.
The council discussed a revised sewer capacity study for the city. Since the original study several years ago, the city’s wastewater treatment has been expanded, and water use is more efficient. The new study by the city’s engineering firm shows the city has capacity for 294 additional single-family homes. After making allowance for existing plats (if all had homes built on them) in Heritage Park and Scheeler Additions, there remains capacity for 146 new homes. This is good news as the older estimate showed the city at near capacity (once all approved plats were built on).
The city is also considering a subscription to a solar garden through IPS, agreeing to provide billing information for further discussion.
The next regular meeting of the Kimball city council will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3. Meetings are recorded and available to view on the city’s Facebook page.