Over 300 people attended the police station open house.

Over 300 people attended the police station open house this past week. Most frequently heard were comments like, “Better to see it now than sometime when we NEED to be in here.” Other frequently heard comments included, “it is a good building” and “it was time something got done.” It will serve the police department well for many years.

It may not be known to everyone that anyone who needs to be incarcerated would not be held here, but rather would be taken to New Ulm and held in the Brown County facility. Although there was a jail cell in the old station, it had not been used for many years.

One new feature of the new police station is the evidence rooms located in the basement of the facility. These are caged areas that can be locked and kept separated from other crime evidence in separate cages.

The total cost of this project will be approximately $900,000 and includes the upgrades to the City Building, including another camera for the Council Chambers, new carpet and security glass.

The police are in the process of moving into the new facility and are awaiting some new furniture, then will complete the move.

This move opens up some space in the old utility building. There has been some talk about moving the food shelf up to first floor. However, the food shelf folks felt the old police station is a very narrow room and would not function well for the food shelf.

Progress is being made on the 12th Avenue NE railroad crossing and road project. At the last City Council meeting it was decided that a sidewalk would be included in the project. The sidewalk will run along St. Mary’s Street on the north side of the street along the cemetery, and then along the west side of 12th Avenue up to the Event Center. Remember that two grants will pay $1.5 million of this project cost, and that included sidewalks. This sidewalk will give walkers and bikers a whole new path along the northeast section of our community.

The rental inspection ordinance got some attention at the last City Council meeting. The City has not been very prudent in enforcing the rental ordinance in place. It was recently decided that this ordinance needed to have some “teeth” put into it. Part of that discussion included a new fee structure that caused some dissatisfaction among landlords that were present. The inspection fee had been proposed at $100 per unit every two years. The landlords felt it was too high. It was decided to go back and reexamine other communities’ charges for this service, as well as determining what it actually cost to do a rental inspection, and come back with a rate proposal at the April 9 City Council meeting.

There will be a retirement open house honoring Mark Kober and Linda Tiedeken on April 17 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Event Center.

We are fortunate to not have the water issues many communities are facing this spring. Flooded homes and businesses would be hard to deal with.