WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --       The Walnut Grove City Council met in regular session on the 14th day of July, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the council room.  Greg Hansen, Jeff Harnack, Todd Harrington, Xiong Yang, Leonard McLaughlin, Andy Foster, Chad Freeburg, Beatrice Maeyaert, Wanda Lund, Darla Larsen and Kerwin Armitage were present.  

    Mayor Hansen called the meeting order at 7:00 p.m. in the council room at the city office building.

    Civil Defense manager and weather spotter Andy Foster talked to the council about the severe weather plan.  It was determined by the council that the Walnut Grove does not have any city building adequate to use as a storm shelter for tornado threats and that the Bar & Grill should stop serving in the event of tornado threats approaching or the loss of power.  The employees at the bar need to ask customers to leave and seek shelter elsewhere so that the employees can also get to a safe place.  



    Either the Walnut Grove police or Andy Foster will try to contact the Bar & Grill employees and keep them informed of any severe weather threats.Employees must respond to threatening weather immediately. In the event of a tornado warning, if the legion is open and they have a quick safe place to go, they may remain open until severe weather approaches.  If the legion is closed and there is no place to send customers and employees, they need to respond soon enough to give both customers and employees enough time to seek adequate shelter elsewhere.             Employees should lock the Bar & Grill and seek shelter in their homes or another safe location until the storm has passed.  It is important that the employees report to the police department or the weather spotters where they are seeking shelter so they know that the employees are safe and accounted for. When the severe weather (tornado) threat has passed, employees should re-open the Bar & Grill for the remainder of normal operating hours.  

    Foster talked to the council about having Alpha Wireless program the radios used for weather spotting to include weather info from Murray and Lyon County.  Harnack will talk to Jim Sandgren about what options are available so that they are able to get weather information sooner.

    The council approved an increase of $1 per hour for the election judges.  This would equate to approximately $200 total increase in expense for the year.  

    The council appointed head election judge Vicki Bender and election judges Darla Larsen, Beatrice Maeyaert, Betty Bannick, Wanda Lund, Nancy Yang and Steven Yang.  

    Kerwin Armitage presented the water/wastewater report.  Kerwin reported that he received a quote from Bisbee Plumbing to replace the exhaust fan in the ventilation room at the plant.  The council asked that he get a quote from Sahlstrom and then decide who to have replace it.

    Fire Chief Freeburg asked Kerwin to oil the caps on the hydrants so they are easier to remove.  Kerwin will get that done.  Freeburg also talked to the council about vehicles being parked next to the hydrants.  The council agreed they would have Police Chief Zeug get these vehicles moved if he sees them.

    The city council accepted the $1400 contribution to the Walnut Grove Fire Department from the WG Area Loggers and $1500 from the Walnut Grove Area Foundation.  

    The council reviewed information from the maintenance department about the 3 point mower that is no longer used by the city.  Similar mowers are selling for around $1200.  The council agreed to try to sell the city’s mower for $1200.

    Discussion was held regarding the offer by a resident to buy part of one of the parcels the city purchased at the tax auction.  The council determined there would be no benefit to the city to split this parcel.  They will have the EDA sell the two adjoining parcels together to make a nice lot.  

    The city council approved a proclamation declaring Peace Flags in the Wind Day on July 26, 2014.

    The council approved the minutes for the June 9, 2014 regular meeting and the June 23, 2014 special meeting.  They also approved Claims 36201 through 36312.