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Council Revisits Problem Issues

July 31, 2012
by Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

Discussion from previous meetings surfaced at the July 23 Emmetsburg City Council meeting. Once again they talked about traffic cones blocking the street at 4th and Lake, and once again they talked about mowers for the golf course.

Police Chief Eric Hanson told the council that he and officer Ryan Veldboom had talked to neighbors who live in the area of 4th and Lake.

"There was no new information from them," said Hanson.

He also talked to two girls who had been in the area and had seen the cones.

"They did not touch the cones and didn't have anything to do with them," said Hanson.

The Police Chief plans to also talk with two other girls who had been at the scene.

Three of the orange traffic cones had been stolen from a driveway on South Broadway where there had been renovation work. The fourth was a utility cone.

"Through my contacts, I had good cooperation and open doors from the neighbors I talked to and Ryan had good luck with the other neighbors," said Hanson. "From what I have seen so far, I have relative certainty I don't believe there are any of the neighbors in that area, adjacent or who live right there, that had anything to do with it. I can't say I'm 100-percent sure, but, again, they were open and receptive to my inquiries and my questions."

Councilman Bill Burdick said, "Somebody told me Stanley Propane was putting oil on the road and might have put the cones out afterward."

Hanson said he had talked to Lois Stanley. They had not put out cones, and if they had it would have been for an hour or two after the application.

"If I have any other information I'll get with John (Bird)," said Hanson. "It's not over. I still have kids to talk to and I'll continue to look into it."

Orange traffic cones had been placed to block a city street at the intersection of 4th and Lake Streets the morning of July 4.

City Administrator John Bird had previously told the council it was the golf board's recommendation to lease/purchase a rough mower. At the last meeting there were no quotes for lease payments.

"Because we're getting only $2,700 for the current mower, we need to get it in shape to get the value up a little bit," said Bird.

Burdick said he had done research on the internet and found used mowers were selling from $10,000 to $18,000.

"The mower's in pretty bad maintenance shape," said Burdick. "It looks to me like it wasn't designed for what we're using it for. It was probably a bad purchase to start with," he said.

Councilman Brian Campbell said he was at the golf course and looked at the mowers.

"It looks to me if they would just slow down they'd do a better job mowing," he said. "We might get a better price in October or November if we need a new one, or repair these and they may last us a lot longer than we expect."

"The fact still remains, even when it's working (referring to the rough mower) they're spending 40 hours a week mowing the rough which is really ridiculous. Whenever a mower is bought, there needs to be serious investigation about what type of mower is the best fit for the job," said Bird.

A mower that had been on loan had five small decks that moved independent of each other. Bird noted that with this mower it took half an hour to mow what would take over two hours with the current mower.

"We could save the wages that we are paying out every week," said Councilman Gramowski.

The issue was tabled for 30 days.



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