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Paynesville Press - July 2, 2003

Paynesville City Council

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, June 25.

•The council heard a verbal report from city administrator Steve Helget regarding possible changes in the city's 2003 budget to make up for the city's $94,000 loss in aid from the state.

A proposal from the finance committee uses money earmarked for capital improvement funds, money from the EDAP fund, and money from the liquor store fund (earmarked for the sidewalk fund) to make up the loss in the general fund. Exact numbers will be presented for approval at the next regular city council meeting on Wednesday, July 9.

•The council approved a $40,251 payment to TMI Coatings for work completed through May 29 on the city's water tower. The water tower project is finished, and the tower is on line again.

•The council approved creating a part-time data entry clerk position for the police department. Duties would include data entry, filing, and other secretarial duties.

Police chief Kent Kortlever said a clerk would allow him to spend more time in the community. He added that the amount of paperwork the department is required to do is increasing and not all of the officers are trained in the programs the department uses for reports.

Council members Dennis Zimmerman and Harlan Beek questioned if now, while the city is considering cut-backs, is a good time to hire new personnel. Mayor Jeff Thompson said that even if the position is created, it will be some time before anyone could be hired, giving the council time to decide if the city can afford a clerk.

•The council approved requesting plans from engineers and starting the bidding process for a tee hanger at the Paynesville Municipal Airport. The council will use the bids to help decide whether a hangar should be built now or later. A tee hangar was not part of the original airport plan but is something the airport commission planned to add later. Because the airport project is coming in under budget, and because the state is paying for a larger than anticipated portion of the airport, building a hangar now is a possibility.

Engineers estimated the hangar, if built with a steel frame, could cost $378,000. Council member Dave Peschong said a local contractor gave him an estimate of at least $100,000 lower for a wood framed building and the council agreed that both types of structures should be considered.

•The council approved accepting the state's monetary limits on lawsuits, limiting the city's liability in a lawsuit to $300,000 per person and $1 million per occurrence.

•The council approved a taser policy for the Paynesville Police Department. The on-duty officer will now carry the department's taser, a less lethal weapon that can quickly subdue a violent subject with few lingering effects.

•The council approved purchasing an air conditioner for $1,225 plus tax from Kotten Refrigeration for the the municipal liquor store.

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