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Blighted properties discussed; reports given at Blackduck Council meeting

With only a few items on the agenda and one person in attendance for the public forum, the Blackduck City Council had yet another shorter than normal meeting July 19.

To start the meeting off, Kurt Benson came before the council to address his concerns on a blighted property in town. The property in question was not specified.

"I'm wondering how our case of blight is coming?" Benson asked. "I was told last summer -- June 1 -- by the council, that there would be action."

"What happened, Kurt, is over the course of the winter, a local resident was doing some research and made some inquiries and she came to us that the Camp Rabideau might possibly be interested in the building in question," Councilman Kevin Beck said.

Beck went on to say that the council was waiting to hear from the individual doing research to see the status on the blighted property.

"How long are you going to allow that talk to go on?" Benson questioned.

"I guess we need to wait and have a conversation on the issue," Beck said.

He went on to say that the council is going to see if the CCC camp wants the building for historical purposes.

"Its time for the council to forget about the discussion and do something about it," Benson said. "This is the worst looking building in town."

"I know, Kurt, but what if the camp wants it and just isn't ready for it?" Beck asked. "I think that if there is a legitimate desire for them to obtain the building for their historical purposes, I don't think any of us would want to deny them of that opportunity."

"I encourage the council to expedite the process. I'd hate to see this put off much longer," Benson said to end his argument.

As the council moved into the regular agenda, Curt Meyer of Widseth, Smith and Nolting came before the council to address the storm pipe on Fourth Street.

"A little over four years ago, we talked about replacing that pipe," Meyers said. "It ended up being ignored because the sewer was so bad on that road and it had to be replaced."

He continued by saying that the pipe has gotten worse.

"The problem is, especially after last winter, the melt started and now the ground is holding a lot of water," he said. "It is shallow enough that Bob can do the replacement on his own. There is just a lot of water going into the soil there."

Meyer said that a new manhole would cost around $1,500 and the pipe to run across would be $6 per foot.

"It'd be somewhere in the range of $300 to get enough pipe to run across there," he said.

The council motioned and approved going ahead to get the materials to replace the pipe and have City Maintenance Supervisor Bob Klug, Jr. install it.

Blackduck Golf Course Manager Dick McKean gave the council an update on the golf course.

"Our income for the month of June was down about $1,000 from last year," he said. "July is the same thing. So far we're running a little behind last year, but it is nothing drastic by any means."

He continued by adding that the course is in very good shape with the exception of hole nine's green.

"It was in pretty bad shape, but it is getting better," he explained. "I think the fairways are the best we've ever had."

"Are we doing everything we can for that green?" Beck asked.

"I think for now we have to wait and see how it fixes itself," McKean said.

Liquor Store Manager Shawn Waldo also presented a report to the council.

"The wedding we had last weekend was only the second we have ever had," she said. "It was successful, however, there were several glitches. Hopefully, by the next wedding, we can have a contract written up to avoid any confusion."

She also said that entertainment is set for the Backwoods Bash and that sales are holding steady.

"They're down slightly from last year, but not by much," she said.

The council will hold their next meeting at city hall Aug. 1 at 6 p.m.