Greenfield weather station to improve warning times

The Greenfield City Council discussed a number of items, including a weather station, city improvements including a community gardens.

Representative of Hennepin County Emergency Management, Eric Waagie and Dan Bovitch, proposed that council approve locating a weather station at the city hall location on the 7700 block of Commerce Circle. The station, a small device less than three feet high, is used to measure weather conditions, primarily wind speed. The number of stations from which forecast conditions are used in the metro is being increased from 4 to 20, with holes in the western and southwestern portions being filled. Increasing the number of locations, Waagie explained, would increase the accuracy, and timing, in the case advance warnings. The wind speed can be sued to warn of climate conditions, or be used to prepare for the path fire or fallout from chemical spills.

Additional stations will also allow warning to be issued more accurately so that sirens are sounded as threatening conditions approach, or develop, in a specific area of the metropolitan area.

The device is solar powered and uses a wireless connection that requires a portal but should not be invasive to the city’s server. Real time weather conditions can be accessed by the public on a website that reads and displays the stations information. The county will pay all costs associated with device.

The council fully approved the proposal. The station is expected to be installed by the end of the month.



The City of Greenfield is in the eye of a community and organizational cooperative volunteer event, Thousand Hearts Crow River Service Day, taking place on Sunday, May 5. Group and solo volunteers for the day are still being recruited, sponsors encouraged to donate, and projects considered (for info, go to the city’s web site:

The council was asked to approve $1,800 for paint and mulch. Members of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office have volunteered to paint the council meeting chambers (outside). The department uses the building for a substation. The city’s administrator, Kathryne McCullum, proposed choosing earth tone. Councilor Mike Erickson told the council that from he could find out, the building had last been painted about 20 years ago.

Addition volunteers will mulch and prepare landscape area in the city. In step with sister-city Rockford, Greenfield will have some community garden lots available to residents. The project is under the direction of Rockford Area Historical Society Director Rebecca Mavenkamp, who will receive plot applications and assign spots. There is the expectation that some locally grown good will benefit area residents through food shelf donations. Greenfield resident Victoria Dukes, speaking on behalf of the gardens, stated that most small communities that have community gardens have waiting lists for their plots.

The council approved funding for materials for these projects. Responding to council inquiry, McCullum said that she believed liability for volunteers was covered the Minnesota League of Cities Insurance as it is for other community events.



During Council Reports, Councilor Mike Erikson relayed that he and Mayor Brad Johnson would be attending a Loretto Fire Board meeting later in the week, and asked for input.

Councilor Tom Cook said that he questions and concerns regarding the department’s budget, noting overruns, and future expenses and vehicle schedule.

Councilor Chuck Alcon also share his thoughts, along the same lines, including fire calls to the Hamel area, and capitol improvement schedule. He recognized the departments long standing members, but said that the city needed clarification on the financials.

Erickson and Johnson will report back to council after attending the fire board meeting.

The next regular meeting of the Greenfield City Council is Tuesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. at 6390 Town Hall Dr.