The Osseo City Council conducted its first meeting of 2013 Monday, Jan. 14. New Mayor Duane Poppe, as well as Councilors Mark Schulz and Bonnie Heinen, were sworn in.
New Mayor Poppe welcomed all to the meeting. “I take great pride in being elected and trying to do what’s best for the city,” he said. “Trying to get the city to move forward and make it something that we are all proud of. We as a city need to come together and move forward.”
During the meeting, the council went into a closed session to consider disciplinary action against a city employee.
Also on the agenda was a public hearing to consider the removal of the concrete island at Sixth Avenue S.E. and Fourth Street S.E.
The council appointed a fire chief and assistant fire chief.
A separate story on more council actions will appear in next week’s paper.
Here are some of the meeting’s highlights.
The council went into a closed session to consider possible disciplinary action against a city employee.
When the council returned from the closed session, City Attorney Loren Magsam made a summary statement about Public Works employee, Wayne Faue. He said, “The city heard, not only from the City Administrator, but also heard from Mr. Faue. After that closed session, [the council] is back now in open session to continue the agenda item, which is to consider disciplinary action against a city employee.”
Councilor Schulz said they received a lot of information in the closed session. He then made a motion to concur with the City Administrator’s suspension of Faue for three days effective Dec. 12, 2012.
The council voted 3 to 2 in favor of the disciplinary action. Councilors Allan Hartkopf and Heinen voted against.
CONCRETE ISLAND REMOVAL
In other matters, the council hosted a public hearing about the consideration of removing a concrete island at Sixth Avenue S.E. and Fourth Street S.E., near Perkins and the Osseo Meat Market.
In October 2001, a resident requested the council consider the removal of the concrete island. At that time, residents voiced concerns that if the island was removed it would create more traffic problems.
At the Jan. 14 meeting, City Planner Riley Grams said area residents and business owners were notified of the public hearing through letters on Jan. 3.
He added, “Randy Korfiatis, Public Works Supervisor, estimated the overall cost between $3,500 and $5,000 for the complete removal of the island and repairing the street to its current condition.”
During the public hearing, several residents voiced their opposition to having the island removed. No one spoke in favor of the island removal during the public hearing.
Resident Gary Faue said, “If it’s taken out of there, those cars coming out of Perkins aren’t going to wait to get on to County Road 81. They are going shoot down [Sixth]. I can foresee trucks going down there too.”
Another resident Claudia Gisvold added there is a group home with handicapped people in the area who do a lot of walking along Sixth Avenue S.E.
Councilor Hartkopf said the island was put there because previously a hotel and an automobile dealership were to be built near Perkins. “People used to go right from this area, right to the elementary school,” he added.
Hartkopf felt the removal of island would easy from traffic congestion from other areas like near Sipes.
Councilor Schulz said, “I would be much more in favor of looking at this when we need to redo the street. I don’t see a practice reason to remove this.”
Mayor Poppe and Councilor Rick Weber agreed there was no need for the island removal.
The council voted unanimously to leave the island as it is.
FIRE DEPARTMENT APPOINTMENTS
The council also made appointments within the Osseo Fire Department.
Back in April 2012, the City Council terminated the employment agreement with then-Fire Chief Mark Lynde. Since that time then-Assistant Fire Chief Pat McGrane has been in charge of the Osseo Fire Department as Acting Fire Chief. Because of his new role, Steve Eiden has been assisting McGrane since April 2012.
City Administrator Douglas Reeder said McGrane and Eiden have served in these capacities for the last eight months.
“It is my recommendation based on the comments I have received from the fire department, council members and my own observation… we permanently appoint [McGrane] as Fire Chief for the city of Osseo,” Reeded added.
Councilor Hartkopf stated he was concerned with making these designations while the lawsuit from former Fire Chief Lynde against the city was still going on. Councilor Heinen agreed.
The council first approved the employment agreement between the city and McGrane appointing him to the position of Fire Chief effective Jan. 14, 2013, and ending Dec. 31, 2015.
Next, the council approved the employment agreement between the city and Eiden appointing him to the position of Assistant Fire Chief effective Jan. 14, 2013, and ending Dec. 31, 2016.
In other action, the council:
APPROVED the appointment of Joseph Meath, Krista Coffin, Jason Christopher and Jonathan Grimm as Osseo Police Reserve Officers.
SET the Open Book meeting for Tuesday, April 16, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Osseo City Hall lobby/conference room. This meeting is for property owners to speak with the city assessor about concerns regarding the valuation or classification of their property.
Contact Alicia Miller at [email protected]