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City maintenace department gets approval for snow plow truck

The 2000 snowplow truck the city of Blackduck will be getting has a wing and side plow on it as well as a sander in the front to make snowplowing the city streets easier.1 / 2
The new truck will also save on the wear and tear of the city's backhoe and grader. City Maintenance Supervisor Bob Klug Jr. hopes to be able to pick the truck up sometime next week.2 / 2

Christmas came early for city of Blackduck Maintenance Supervisor Bob Klug, Jr. when the city council gave their blessings for the purchase of a snowplow truck.

But before Klug got the good news, Community Librarian Nance Kunkel updated the council on what was happening at the library.

"We have some real fun things going on at the library," she began. "We have had authors here opening weekend from the Minnesota Crimewave, a woman came to talk about Laura Ingalls Wilder during the craft fair at the school and both events were well attended," Kunkel said.

Also here was Lorna Landvik. She went on to update the council about more fun and exciting events coming to Blackduck, thanks to the Legacy Funds.

She also gave the council an automation update.

"We have two pieces of equipment that need to be replaced," she told the council. "One is a receipt printer and the other one is a bar code scanner. This is all covered by the replacement fund already," she said.

Following a short discussion on the equipment replacement, she went on to say that under the Gates Grant, the library was to get new computers.

"We thought we would have had them by now but here it is the end of the year and we still don't have them. It probably won't happen now until next year," she said.

She also mentioned the change in library hours and an open house set for next week while the kids are out of school on Christmas break.

"We are going to be having a Wii tournament," she explained. "We wanted to have something fun for the kids while they were out of school."

The council thanked Kunkel for the information she gave to them before moving on to hear from Liquor Store Manager Shawn Waldo.

Waldo gave the council an idea as to what was happening at The Pond.

"As you know," she began, "We have had a flood. The cooler is shot according to the insurance adjuster."

Waldo said she had gotten thecost on a cooler. "A new one will cost about $42,000," she said. "That's for a walk-in."

Councilmember Kevin Beck questioned Waldo on the amount of the quote she received on the cooler.

"That is the price for a new cooler?" Beck asked.

"No," Waldo replied. "That is the cost of a used one."

Beck suggested she call Britt's for a quote. A lengthy discussion followed concerning what would be needed with another cooler.

Klug told the council that the wall surrounding the broken cooler was built on top of the cooler and he wasn't sure how much work would have to be done to remove it to put in the new cooler.

Waldo said that she would call Britt's and get a price quote on the type of cooler needed and get back to the council.

Next to come before the council was Blackduck Police Chief Scott Wherley who apprised the council on an updated general order concerning unclaimed and abandoned property.

"Is this something we need to act on?" asked Mayor Scott Palmer.

"No," answered Wherley, "It is just something I wanted the council to be aware of.

City Administrator Karin Elhard informed Palmer that the policy can be approved by making the motion and approving it, which the council did.

Elhard also informed the council that the fine payments from the state are getting better.

Wherley then told the council that things were pretty quiet and going smoothly. He had received good reports on Blackduck's other two officers. Palmer also said he had gottengood reports on them both.

Klug was up next and gave his report on the plow truck he had gone over to Boyer Trucks in Duluth to look at.

As the council looked at the pictures of the truck Klug had taken, they listened to information about it.

"This is a nice truck," Klug began. "It's in nice shape and everything works well. I took it out on the road and it is a nice truck," he said.

He explained that the truck was a 2000 and has a 466 engine in it with an Allison automatic transmission. "It has a sander in the front of the truck," Klug said. "It has 40,000 miles on it, has a wing and a plow. They told me they would sell it to us for $39,000 and that they will DOT it for us if we get a DOT number for it," explained Klug.

Klug told the council that he had talked with Beltrami County Highway Department Supervisor Ed Geving and that Geving had told him that a new plow and wing alone was about $40,000.

"How fast can you go get it?" Palmer asked with a laugh.

"I don't know." answered Klug. "There are a few minor things that need to be done to it like one of the headlights needs to be replaced and they are going to fix that," he said.

"I think this is an excellent idea," Beck said.

After a short discussion with members of the council on how the truck would be paid for, they gave Klug to nod to go ahead and get the truck.

"It will save years of wear and tear on the backhoe as well as years on the grader," he said.

Beck reiterated that he thought getting the snowplow was a good idea before the council moved on to the next order of business -- the snowplow agreement the city had with Beltrami County on snowplowing county state aid roads.

Ed (Geving) and I talked with the county engineer Tyler Koos Friday and he thought the county would be willing to give the city $8,000 per year to remove and plow snow on county state aid roads," Klug said.

Beck said that he thought the agreement should be reviewed each fall and Palmer added that he thought they should revise the policy every few years to add a cost increase.

A short discussion was held on the development grant funds the city had requested from the county board for wayside rest improvements.

"We had originally asked for $26,400," Elhard told the council. "The county awarded the city $9,000 of the original amount asked for. We need to make a game plan now," she said.

Following a short discussion, Elhard informed the council that they had received two checks -- one was a dividend check from the League of Minnesota Cities property and casualty trust. The other check was for $1,250.11 and was an electric cooperative check.

The council then wrapped up the meeting and adjourned for the night.