May 6, 2021

Grant County Herald

Community news from the prairie to the lakes

Plans for Flekkefest 2021 proceeding

Elbow Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Director Sue Kulbeik told the city council, Monday evening, that the Flekkefest Committee is planning to proceed with plans for a Flekkefest summer festival, August 6-8, 2021.

“We are exploring three options, depending on where the pandemic is: 1. Go full bore will all the events people know and love; 2. Cut back somewhat to safer levels; or, 3. Cut way back to only a few socially distant events like last year.”

Mayor Deb Hengel said the city will have to check with their city attorney to find out what the city’s liability is before too much is planned.

Elbow Lake Fire Department Chief Nathan Porter said fire department members feel strongly that they want to put on their annual Flekkefest Fire Department street dance.He suggested if people have safety concerns they should stay home.

“The council will not stop anyone,” Councilperson Daryl Larson said, adding. “We need to get back to having fun.”

Kulbeik said she would keep the council informed of Flekkefest committee plans as time goes on.

She said the C&C membership drive went well and resulted in several new members joining the organization. She also mentioned the recent Easter Bunny drive-by event at Maplewood Manor went well and everyone had a good time.

“We have developed a good partnership with Maplewood Manor,” Kulbeik concluded.

Kulbeik reported that there will be a Grant County Herald sponsored city-wide garage sale during the fishing opener weekend of May 15, and the Elbow Lake Farmer’s Market gets underway, starting on Thursday, May 27 at Veteran’s Park. There will be a community supper at 5:00 p.m. 

    Opening the 

Community Building

City Clerk Jeff Holsen said the Elbow Lake Community Building lift will be inspected this week to see if it is good to go. If the lift passes, the Community Building, which has been closed for over a year, will need a big clean up before it will be allowed to reopen for meetings, events, and the Senior Citizen Center being used.

“It is going to be a big project,” said Holsen. He offered to get some price quotes from various cleaning services.

Other business

The council discussed the curbside recycling option, put forth by Engebretson Sanitary Disposal. County Coordinator James Standish has asked all Grant County towns for their  opinions on the curbside option, and plans to set up a meeting with Engebretson and the cities to discuss the change in Grant County’s recycling policy.

After some discussion, it became apparent that Elbow Lake citizens, who have talked to their council representatives, are not behind the curbside pickup option. The main reasons are: it would add another container to homeowner’s curbside, people would have another pickup date to remember, and they wondered who would be responsible to monitor the curbside containers and clean-up if they blow over.

Mayor Hengel said she would report this discussion to Elbow Lake’s County Commissioner, Bill LaValley.

“We have to do something,” she concluded.

Thorson Memorial Library Director, Lucy Anderson, reported that when the Community Building opens, the library will open to normal operating as well. Currently, only one patron is allowed in the library at a time.

Anderson said she is re-posting the ad for a Children’s Programing Director. She said the adult bookclub is meeting again, on Zoom, but will meet outside on April 21. Also, the Writers Loft is offering an on-line writers workshop. For more information, go on the Thorson Library website.

City Superintendent, Greg Jacobson,  reported that the city engineer has applied for 1.8 million in grant money for the new water treatment plant, but there is no guarantee the city will receive it.

City Councilperson Tom Grout reported that he has sent in a grant request for maintenance of the City Athletic Park. Also Joyce Lacey has decided to donate $3,000, in the name of her mother June Lacey, for a new playground set at the park.

The council had a look at a proposed three year contract, for community policing, with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. Elbow Lake is currently in the second year of a three year contract, after completing a two year contract that started the partnership.

Currently, Elbow Lake contracts for 2,920 hours per year, or eight hours of service for every 24 hours. The contact calls for two deputies to live in Elbow Lake to enforce ordinances. 

The cost, to Elbow Lake, would be: $160,387.55 for 2022; $165,197.12 for 2023; and, $170,153.03 for 2024. 

No action was taken at this time.

The council passed an administrative fine ordinance, as written by City Attorney Justin Anderson. The ordinance would allow the city to issue a citation to a property owner in violation of City Code Chapters 90 (Health and Sanitation) 92 (Sidewalks), and 94 (Animals) with a $100 fine, if corrective action is taken, the fine can be forgiven. The ordinance will be in effect upon publication, and there is an appeal process.