Council looks at condemning house in town
By Lori Newman
The Deer Creek City Council held their regular monthly meeting on March 22.
Acting Mayor Bob Lund filled in for Mayor Troy Beiswenger who was unable to attend.
New York Mills Police Chief Bobby Berndt gave the Police Report for February and led a discussion about properties in town where clean up needs to be done. Chief Berndt and the council agreed that the goal is not to give out any citations about these matters, but rather to notify property owners about the problems, and then give them a reasonable amount of time to take care of the issues.
The council reviewed old business which includes obtaining quotes for the cost of a security system to monitor city properties. The New York Mills Police Department and Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Department are being consulted about this also.
City Clerk/Treasurer Tom Parish reported that a meeting with the city attorney had been rescheduled for later in the week to discuss the condemnation process of the house at 107 Clark St. in town, and also to seek advice about matters pertaining to the fire department.
Representatives from Tri-County Health Care attended the meeting to update the council about the new hospital building project. Progress had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but ground-breaking is now scheduled for early May of this year. The city of Deer Creek is still set to serve as a conduit for financing of the project. This involvement poses no financial liability for the city, and will not adversely affect potential bond issues in future years.
Three residents of the community attended the meeting to ask for the city’s approval to dig a deeper ditch in the area of 565th Ave. and 280th St. to help improve drainage on the road to their property. The residents said they would do the work themselves. Council members agreed that a better ditch would help dry out the area and might reduce maintenance costs of the road also. However, Parish said a more formal description of the ditch digging proposal needed to be submitted to the council in writing along with a map of the area affected. Ditch slopes must be designed according to county specifications, and the Deer Creek Township Board and the MN Department of Natural Resources must also approve the plan before the work can proceed.
Councilman Dan Hendershot reported that there are streets in town that need to be repaired or replaced, and the council agreed to make plans for those projects.
Councilman Jayme George informed the council that a church group in town is looking for a spot to plant a community garden, and possible locations for that were discussed.
The council also discussed scheduling yard and garden clean-up days in town, probably for the second and third weekends in May.
Parish informed the council that a Wellhead Protection Community Meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 26 at 7 p.m. prior to the regular city council meeting that evening.