Save the water tower or not? Osseo receives report

The Osseo City Council once again discussed what it wanted to do with the North Water Tower during its Monday, April 22 meeting. The council is deciding whether or not to save the water tower and preserve it or to tear it down.

An update was given to the council regarding directional signs that would direct motorists to Osseo from Highway 169.

The council also went into a closed session to discuss pending litigation.

A separate will appear in next week’s paper with other council actions.

 

WATER TOWER DISCUSSIONS

The council continued discussions on whether or not to continue inspections of the North Water Tower, located near Osseo City Hall.

Back in January, KLM marketing manager Shawn Mulhern presented the council with a study of the North Water Tower, which is 98 years old. The cost to repair and paint the tank to allow water to be placed in it would be around $347,900. The cost to remove the tank would be $80,000, but another $30,000 might be needed to handle the containment of the roof.

The tower’s roof condition is still unknown due to the poor condition of the ladder from the balcony to the roof.

At the April 22 meeting, City Administrator Doug Reeder said there was an additional proposal to repair the broken ladder on the tank to allow the inspection to proceed up to the top of the tank. The cost to do this would be $6,400, which would be paid for out of the water fund.

Mulhern added the proposal would be to get a welder out to secure the ladder back in place so the inspection could continue. This would be done with a crane.

Councilor Rick Weber asked what the true cost would be to the city to have the crane come out for the inspection. Mulhern said, “That’s a good question. I feel its still our obligation because we haven’t finished this report.”

Weber wondered what the next steps would be. Mulhern said the next step is finishing off this report, adding KLM is still under contract to do that.

Councilor Bonnie Heinen said, “I don’t think we can really do anything until [Mulhern] finds out what’s going on up there.”

Councilor Weber added, history doesn’t make money, it costs money.

Mulhern said the study could help the city determine if the tower has a few more years to make the decision or raise money to help cover costs.

Councilor Mark Schulz made a motion to approve the welding repair and inspection not to exceed $6,400. The motion was seconded by Mayor Duane Poppe.

Weber wanted to know what the next steps would be. Schulz said the council would find out after the inspection was completed. He added this also gives people an opportunity to help.

Resident Kathleen Gette said she was happy to do some research on possible grant monies to help save the water tower. She would rather save the water tower than tear it down. She is a proposal writer and would volunteer her time.

She said, “I just can’t imagine this town without that tower.”

The council voted 4 to 1 to approve the repairs; councilor Allan Hartkopf voted against. The repairs and remainder of the inspection would be completed within a month.

 

DIRECTIONAL HWY. 169 SIGNS

City Administrator Reeder gave the council an update on the lack of directional signs to Osseo for those motorists along Hwy. 169.

At the April 8 council meeting, it was brought to the council’s attention that there were no signs along Hwy. 169 directing people to Osseo. There were signs mentioned back in 2011 as part of the Hwy. 169 and County Road 30 interchange project discussions that would direct people to Osseo. There were also signs not posted as part of the Devil’s Triangle project. Signs would be placed on Hwy. 169 coming from both the north and south near the Devil’s Triangle project area, directing drivers to find Osseo.

Reeder said he had talked with MnDOT engineers about the signs. “What they have told is that as soon as the snow goes away, the signs that were agreed to southbound will go up,” he said.

He added that was still trying to get MnDOT to put a directional sign up on the temporary detour signs for the County Road 30/Hwy. 169 project. These signs would be on a temporary basis.

Mayor Poppe said there were a bunch of temporary signs that were supposed to be placed along Hwy. 169.

 

CLOSED SESSION

The council also went into closed session at the end of the meeting. The session allowed the council to hear and discuss pending litigation.

City Administrator Loren Magsam said, “The city council met tonight in closed session to hear an update involving pending litigation with former Fire Chief Mark Lynde. The report was received by the city’s attorney.”

No action was taken by the council.

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