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Morrison County Record

Randall Council considers roof, kitchen projects

By By Zach Hacker,


Building repairs highlighted most of the discussion Wednesday, for the Randall City Council.

The Council talked over funding options for a roof replacement on the city’s fire hall, a project estimated to cost about $25,000. It also considered additional upgrades at the Bingo Park Community Building, which is already slated to get new flooring sometime this month.

Regarding the fire hall, City Manager Matt Pantzke said the building is owned by the Fire Advisory Board, an organization that includes the city of Randall, Cushing Township, Darling Township and Parker Township.

Those four entities split operating expenses for the building and the fire department itself. The amount they pay is based on the valuation of the buildings within their individual jurisdictions.

“We have to do something,” said Council Member Ernie Wright, who is also a member of the Randall Fire Department. “The roof is bad. I just did the bid on it, and if we can go with the steel that we bid, thinking that the spaces — where they were, it’s right around $10,000 for just the material.”

Pantzke said it was a project the Advisory Board has been putting off for a while, but it is getting to a point where it cannot wait any longer. In a conversation they had earlier in the day, Fire Chief Scott Hughson told him that he was willing to apply for a grant from Sourcewell, which could garner up to $10,000 — two-fifths of the projected cost.

One of the four entities that make up the Advisory Board would have to apply for that grant. However, Carrie Turner, who represents the Council on the Advisory Board, said the $10,000 Sourcewell grant would require a dollar-for-dollar match.

“The other three users of the Fire Department, the other townships, would each pitch in a portion according to how they are charged by their population,” Turner said.

Turner said Hughson volunteered to help write the grant, but the city would ultimately be, most likely, the entity that applied for it. How to obtain funds from the townships would then be up to the city.

It is a pressing matter, however. Turner said Hughson also emphasized that the project couldn’t be put off any longer.

“No,” Wright said. “It needs to be done as soon as we can, but then at the end, it would be nice to have an agreement with the other townships, co-pay and how much is it that you’re going to be able to give.”

Pantzke said such an arrangement is not without precedence. Only a couple of years ago, the city and townships covered their fair portions of a project to replace the overhead doors at the fire hall.

Turner asked if they needed to get a more precise cost estimate before they move forward. Pantzke said Hughson informed him that he was going to get an “actual bid” out that will include materials and labor. He would then share the resolution with Pantzke that he has used in the past when applying for grants.

That would likely have to be figured out before the Advisory Board’s next meeting, which is scheduled for April 4.

Pantzke asked Turner if she came away from the Advisory Board meeting feeling that the townships would help cover the cost.

“They didn’t give a hard agreement,” Turner said. “They said, ‘That’s a great idea.’ That’s not a hard agreement in my world.”

She added that once the bid for the project comes back, they could forward that information to each of the townships and lay out what their portion of the cost would be.

“(Are) there any patches that need to be done to stop the water from draining in?” said Mayor Danny L. Noss.

“There’s really no more patching to be done, I don’t think,” Wright said.

“It sounds like there’s more holes than there is good tin,” Turner added.

Pantzke said Hughson will let him know once he receives bids on the project. The matter will then come before the Council for more discussion or a potential vote at its March meeting. In the meantime, he said he agreed that it would be nice to get some commitment from the townships.

Looking forward, Wright suggested it might be a good idea for each of the entities to start a fund that it sticks a certain amount of money into each year for future maintenance. It could be set up similarly to the Fire Department’s truck fund.

“You have the truck fund already that you set up for sometime down the road when you need a truck,” Noss said. “We can do another line item.”

At the Bingo Park Community Building, Pantzke said the flooring project that was approved by the Council in December was set to be completed later this month. That was projected to cost the city $6,600. The Randall - Cushing Area Lions Club recently agreed to cover half of that cost.

The Randall Senior Citizens Group also disbanded recently. In doing so, it left its remaining $7,215.15 to the city for improvements at Bingo Park.

“They had a little bit of funds left, so they wanted to do some good with it,” Noss said.

Pantzke said he, along with Turner and fellow Council Member Mary Venske, recently looked at the Bingo Park Community Building and felt the kitchen was in need of upgrading. He said the cabinets are in “pretty rough condition.”

He had Daniel Waldoch, who builds custom cabinets, come in and look at the situation and give him some options. Waldoch will put some drawings together and present those to Pantzke.

Pantzke told the Council he also spoke with the city’s water - wastewater operator, Keith Evans, about the appliances in the Bingo Park building. They will replace two refrigerators with one, large fridge.

“One common complaint is, refrigerator space is tight in there, that’s why we have the two in there,” Pantzke said. “The one that he has is 21 cubic feet, which is very large. An average refrigerator is 14 cubic feet, just of refrigeration plus the freezer. This would not have a freezer on it.”

The refrigerator, a range and microwave to replace what is currently in the building’s kitchen would cost the city less than $2,000. Pantzke is just waiting on a price estimate on the cabinets from Waldoch, which would also possibly make some more flooring and a “small amount of wiring” necessary.

Pantzke said Waldoch was looking at late April or early May as a time he could possibly install the new cabinets. He said Waldoch told him it would cost less than $10,000 to do the cabinets and the countertops.

“Then again, that was just his preliminary look at it,” Pantzke said. “I do not have any final numbers, but he felt it would come in under that. If it’s something we want to proceed with, he’s going to want to know that and then he’ll commit to it.”

Ultimately, Venske and Turner said they can review the plans and help determine whether or not the project is worth pursuing. Waldoch can then bring the plans to the March Council meeting.

“If everyone’s comfortable with that, we’ll proceed in that direction,” Pantzke said.

Randall City Council Briefs:

In other business Wednesday, the Randall City Council:

• Set a date of May 6, for this year’s annual cleanup day;

• Renewed a joint powers agreement with the Morrison County Attorney’s Office. The agreement must be renewed every five years, and there is no cost to the city;

• Heard from City Manager Matt Pantzke that Schlenner Wenner & Co. recently completed the annual financial audit. He said they found no abnormalities, and they plan to present their findings at either the March or April Council meeting;

• Heard from Pantzke that the city’s wellhead protection plan has gone out for final review and approval; and

• Heard from Pantzke that the city should receive most of the vital components needed to get the city’s water treatment plant back up and running by April. There is one item that may not arrive until June, but Pantzke said it is possible they will be able to run the plant without the replacement part.

The next meeting of the Randall City Council is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, at Randall City Hall.

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