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The City Council meeting held on Monday, Feb. 3, was also the open Public Hearing for the General Needs Assessment and roof repair in regards to Historic City Hall, a.k.a. the Chamber office and Visitor Center. No one in attendance from the community had any comments on the roof repair, but there were some comments in regards to what the needs in the community might be. Community Development Director Lorette Carter started the Public Hearing by explaining what the General Needs Assessment is and what it provides.

“This is a capital improvement priority list. We rely on this for projects taken on by the City and it hasn’t been updated in years,” said Carter. “We are working on that. It is 90 plus pages. We are hoping to get some grant money in the next couple of years to redo the assessment.”

Carter went on to explain that some of the projects on the current plan have been completed and will be removed. There are other items that will be revisited and still others to be added.

“What are our next priorities? This should be a ‘living document,’” said Carter. “One that gets updated yearly. The current one can be accessed online on the City website if anyone wants to read through it.”

There were a couple of residents in attendance who had some suggestions for the Community Needs Assessment. One was Toole County Sheriff’s deputy Jared Anderson.

“The hill on Second Avenue and Main Street, are there regulations for parking there? I have noticed that it is hard to see around parked vehicles in that area,” said Anderson. “And Sixth Avenue down by Noons, is there a plan for that?”

Carter and the Council agreed that trying to see around the parked vehicles to enter on to Main Street from Second Avenue is difficult and can be a hazard as most of the time you cannot see if anything is coming until you are pulling out onto the street. 

“That’s a call to MDT,” said Carter. “The State is responsible for Main Street. We will get a call into them.”

Anderson’s question about the huge pothole on Sixth by Noons was also answered with a resounding “yes.” 

Judy Richman also had a few questions and suggestions. She first inquired about the ice skating rink and if it would be flooded again so residents could skate. City Superintendent Luis Correa stated that yes, it would be, but it has been too warm most of this winter to do it but that it will be done.

“And I saw in the paper all the kids fishing at Lake Shel-Oole,” said Richman. “There’s fishing out there?”

Carter explained that yes, there is fishing there, that the lake is full of perch and that the City is applying for a grant to get a floating dock to make the fishing site even more accessible to the public.

Richman then asked if there was any chance of having some kind of lighting for the Roadrunner Trail. She was advised that solar lighting had already been looked into and found to not be a good solution. 

“The electricians have said solar lighting would not be very good,” said Carter. “It wouldn’t be very beneficial. And the cost to get other lighting out there, it would be a lot, but it’s something we can look into.”

The Public Hearing remained open as the Council moved on to discuss and take action on other matters. 

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