Old Greenfield Town Hall gets updates inside and out

The Greenfield City Council recently posted a request for bids for a sound system in the meeting chamber of the city building on 6390 Town Hall Drive.

The city currently conducts most of its council, commission and advisory meetings at this location, and complaints about sound quality, particularly for attendees during well-attended meetings, have been raised over the past few years. The city budgeted $5,000 for this improvement.

Three bids were presented for review, and Greenfield resident Joe LePore was asked by the council to give his professional opinion, since this is his area of expertise. LePore, in the past, has video taped and set up remote viewing of past council meetings in this location and at the pubic works facility when larger attendance was expected.

LePore told the council that the proposal from Z Pro was most in tune with what the council expressed that it wanted and would best fit the needs of the chamber for audio. He explained that the six speakers the proposal included would provide full coverage and that the capabilities for recording and replay were adequate as well. Mayor Brad Johnson stated that he had some experience with sound systems and supported LePore’s assessment.

LePore added that he did not know if the chambers needed the video portion of the bid. After some discussion, it was decided that a projector would be helpful in viewing plats and plans, not only by the council, but by the planning commission as well. Johnson said the purchase would be money well spent with the expectation of more plats coming before the city. The council approved the Z Pro bid with minor changes, and it is expected to come in at approximately $6,600.

Also in store for the building is an exterior paint job.

Last spring, paint and supplies were purchased to do the job, and volunteers (the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Explorers group) were recruited. The painting was to coincide with the communitywide 1,000 Hearts Day service day in May, but the conditions were to wet to paint. Additional attempts to paint were thwarted by weather and scheduling. The scraping that was done in anticipation of painting is no longer adequate and additional deterioration had occurred to the exterior. Concerns were expressed about volunteers working with potentially hazardous chemicals that professionals would know about and be able to take precautions against.

Councilor Mike Erickson intimated that the idea of putting more money into the building was less than appealing, something Mayor Johnson said was understandable, but agreed that it was necessary to maintain the site. The city has space allocated in its 21-acre city park for a new city hall, but that will be addressed in a later phase of park planning and there is no time frame in place at this time.

The council directed staff to get bids on the project from painting companies letting them know that the paint was already purchased.

Relating to the park, Greenfield Administrator Bonnie Ritter explained to the council the dilemma facing the Park Advisory. The advisory was established in 2012 for a period of two years and is coming up on its deadline date. Due to vacancies over the two-year period, appointments were made, resulting in terms that are staggered by months, in some cases.

Council discussion ensued, and it was agreed upon the advisory should stay in place indefinitely. Johnson suggested that current members would be asked to stay on until the end of 2014, when new-staggered two-year terms would be established. Any resulting vacancies could be advertised for at that time.

LAKE SARAH SEWER

The council received a request, and approved, an improvement related to accurate flow measurement for reporting and billing at $14,377.

PIONEER-SARAH CREEK WATERSHED

Councilor Tom Cook addressed challenges member cities are facing in regard to the Pioneer-Sarah Creek Watershed and the Third Generation Watershed Management Plan. Members recently reviewed the plan and significant feedback was provided by Councilor Chuck Alcon and staff. Alcon has previously expressed concerns regarding the plan and is philosophically opposed to several approaches and proposal points outlined in the plan as well as the cost. Grants, he said, required city matching was not affordable.

Cook, chair of the Pioneer-Sarah Creek Watershed Commission, told the council that working with the existing commission provided some level of involvement and feedback, while disbanding it could lead to considerably less and a taxing authority.

Alcon suggested a dedicated workshop be scheduled to further discuss the management plan and the city’s options. Tuesday, July 15, was tentatively selected as a meeting date.

In closing, Johnson thanked the Park Advisory for all its effort in getting the city’s first playground installed and reflected on all that was accomplished the weekend prior during the 1,000 Hearts service day.

The next regular meeting of the Greenfield City Council is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, at 6390 Town Hall Drive.

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