Wyoming moves to buy new pickup for public works

It will replace old truck once owned by township

Alice Pickering
Wyoming Reporter

The Wyoming Public Works Department is getting a new pickup.

The Wyoming City Council approved the purchase of the Chevrolet 2500 Silverado crew cab four-door, short-box pick-up truck during its regular meeting Tuesday, March 6.

Jason Windingstad, public works supervisor, said the truck being replaced is a 1984 F250 Ford pick-up which originally belonged to Wyoming Township. The truck has 240,000 miles on it and Windingstad estimated its value to be about $1000. Repairs necessary to have it working well would cost about $3000.

The new truck will be the replacement vehicle. Windingstad explained that the purchase is through a state contract which gives the city the best possible price, of $28,551.47.

According to the quote, the price includes a power train warranty of five years or 100,000 miles.

The new truck is part of the rotation for replacement and was planned as part of the 2012 budget. Money to pay for the truck will come from the equipment fund. Buying the truck will eliminate the equipment reserve. Hereafter, purchases will come out of the capital improvement fund.

The city council vote was 5-0 in favor of the purchase.

City Staff

With the retirement of Sandy Berry, the city is seeking an administrative assistant. City Administrator Craig Mattson said one of the most important qualifications is computer literacy, as some important responsibilities are maintaining the city web site, scanning information, creating laser fiche, and the ability to use a laptop to take real-time minutes during meetings.

The job description is specific and lengthy but among the qualifications, responsibilities, duties, are excellent writing and communications skills. Other requirements include effective communication with the public and staff, and gathering and interpretation of information for reports.

Council unanimously approved the description for administrative assistant and authorized staff to advertise to fill the position at a wage rate of between $19 and $23 an hour.

Utility Billing

The city council approved a master agreement with Opus 21 Management Systems to provide utility billing services for Wyoming.

This was one of the Berry’s responsibilities. Mattson said the company provides services at a predictable cost for the initial five-year term of the contract.

The company can provide options for customers to utilize e-billing and on-line bill pay. It may be possible later to incorporated credit and debit cards.

It may be possible to expand service in the future to bill for the storm water utility. Opus 21 will offer expanded call center hours; from 8 a.m. through 9 p.m.

The base cost to the city is $16,560 a year. This will be covered by some of the money that paid Berry’s salary and benefits, according to Mattson.

Council approval was unanimous but contingent on Attorney Mark Vierling checking on the company’s insurance provider.

Weiss Variance

The council approved a variance from setback requirements for Karen Weiss for a house at 26060 Kendall Lane.

The city ordinance requires a setback of 30 feet from the bluff edge, but the house is already closer than that. The variance is for additions which will be further back from the bluff edge.

The planning commission recommended the variance based on the fact that additions will not negatively affect the adjacent properties. The variance allows reasonable use of the land, does not grant any special privilege, and is the minimal amount which allows improvements to be made.

Overall, the variance is in keeping with the spirit and intent of the ordinance, the commission said.

According to Fred Weck, zoning official, the house has a holding tank because there is no area for a septic system due to location of the well. The proposal is to seal the well and drill another with a space available for a soil treatment site.

Council unanimously approved the variance on the condition that if the deck is replaced, pervious pavers are used on a patio and gutters direct water away from Comfort Lake.

Road Reports

Council member Steve Zerwas reported about the recent Highway 8 Task Force meeting.

There is road work planned this summer which will influence drivers in the Wyoming area.

The date has not been set for the closure of Highway 61 at 250th St. Work on the turn lanes will take about six weeks.

Some sections of I-35 need to be milled and overlaid in areas where there are uneven spots. Zerwas said contractors will try to schedule this work during off-peak hours.

Work on the bridge at Taylors Falls is scheduled between mid-April and the end of July. This is a Wisconsin Department of Transportation project.

In a written report, City Engineer Mark Erichson said MNDOT is planning reconstruction and expansion of the park-and-ride lot on the southwest quadrant of I-35 and Viking Blvd. City staff has met with MNDOT to determine locations for three temporary parking lots.

The temporary parking areas are tentatively at the Village Inn, the parking lot at the now closed RiverBank office and at the Sunrise Prairie Trail parking lot across from city hall. Owners of the properties have been contacted and feedback has been favorable. MNDOT is having discussions with property owners.

Police Report

The police department has two vehicles which cannot be used. A 1999 Malibu was forfeit on DWI charges and has been declared surplus property. After notification by certified mail, a 1998 Ford Windstar has remained unclaimed. Police Chief Paul Hoppe recommended both be sold at public auction.

Proceeds from the sale of the first car are to be split 70 percent to the police forfeiture fund and 30 percent to the Chisago County Attorney’s Office. Money from the second vehicle is to be deposited into the impound lot fund. Council approved the action.

When the police department re-tooled to the RMS county-wide communications system, the Data911 MDC (mobile data computers) were decommissioned because they could not handle the new software.

According to Chief Hoppe, these units have no continued value to Chisago County or the Wyoming Police Department. As per city policy for decommissioned police vehicles and equipment, Hoppe recommended their sale.

By unanimous vote the council declared the five Data911MDCs surplus city property and authorized their sale at the on-line auction site SurplusProperty.com. Proceeds from sale will go to the general fund.

CLFLWD Report

The Comfort Lake/Forest Lake Watershed District has authorized preparation of specifications and plans for a rough fish barrier for Bone Lake. The information was in the report submitted by liaison Mark Lobermeier. The organization must yet advertise for bids.

The project should begin in August.

The CLFLWD has also authorized a curly leaf pondweed assessment, lake sediment survey, and zebra mussel assessment for Forest Lake.

The CLFLWD received a report about the Sunrise River Petition Project; which is being designed to reduce the amount of phosphorus entering Comfort Lake.

Other Business

In other business, the council:

•Learned that initial meeting of a Wyoming Area Arts Council had 16 people attend, according Mayor Eric Peterson.  While there were no specifics, he believes it was a good start for the fledgling group as they began an exchange of ideas.

•Approved the appointment of Jacquelyn E. Hastings as a probationary firefighter for the Wyoming Fire Department.

•Learned from the attorney’s report that the final schedule for hearings, related to the Peterson Annexation Petition, are scheduled April 3rd and April 4th at city hall.

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