City council discusses camping at Lions Park
By Lori Newman
The Deer Creek City Council held their regular monthly meeting on July 26.
New York Mills Police Chief Bobby Berndt gave the police report for June and told the council the police department has hired another full time officer.
Berndt and the council also discussed the city’s policies on camping at the Deer Creek Lions Wayside Park in town. At this time, the city has no ordinances in place regarding this matter. Water, electric, and/or camping site fees or time limits on duration of stay might be considered in the future.
Luke Sherbrooke from S and S Security Services attended the meeting to provide the council with information and answer questions about their monitoring equipment and services. Sherbrooke explained that the city could start with a basic set-up and add more cameras and computer storage capacity as needed.
The council decided to equip the community center for now and possibly add the fire hall, museum, water tower, baseball field and other sites to the system later on.
Representatives Anthony Mavle and Bryan Drown from Bolton and Menk Engineering Services attended the meeting to provide the council with information about state and federal funding sources that might be available to the city for the upcoming water tower maintenance and well house repair projects.
The representatives explained the requirements and times lines for grant application processes. They also noted that some funding programs look at the “affordability” of water and sewer rates in a city that is applying for a grant, and currently the rates in Deer Creek might be a bit lower than what would be recommended. The city would also need to determine priorities for the work that needs to be done, and decisions would need to be made about which projects to group together for best cost effectiveness and to increase chances for a grant application to be accepted.
Water/Wastewater Operator Dan Kovar noted that it might be cheaper to build a new building for chemical storage than to add on to the existing building. Also, there are old water lines in town that need to be replaced with larger diameter pipes, and lines that dead-end that need to be looped back into the system. The council decided to request a letter of engagement with Bolton and Menk to get planning advice and help with cost estimates.
Henry DeCock from DeCock Sand and Gravel attended the meeting to discuss road conditions in the city and help the council determine how many loads of gravel they would need this year. The council decided to order 40 loads, the same as last year. DeCock also said a culvert on Spaghetti Road would be lowered to help with water drainage in the area.
City Clerk/Treasurer Tom Parish reported that the city will receive a Small City Grant for about $18,000 that could be used for street repair. There are a few areas in town that need work, but most likely the money will be used to fix the alley behind the community center.
The council discussed and approved the Deer Creek Lions Club application for an off-sale liquor license.
The council also approved donations from the Lions Club for Deer Trails Day, to the Deer Creek Cemetery Association for operating expenses, to the Shockers Baseball Team and to the city for flower planting. The Lions Club has also asked the city for a list of other projects and purchases that the city would like help in funding.
Firefighter Wayne Perkins attended the meeting and inquired about funding for another fire truck. Perkins told the council there are some good deals on trucks available now that could result in significant cost savings.
Parish said the city does not have the money for another fire truck at this time, and again explained that the city is not in a position to take on debt for the townships’ shares of the purchase and wait five years to be fully repaid.
Parish again expressed his hope that the local townships are aware of the money that might be available to them through the American Rescue Plan Act and that they are figuring out ways to access and use those funds.
Kovar reported that water usage in the city is still very high due to the drought conditions and the amount of lawn and garden watering that is being done.
Parish informed the council that a Wellhead Protection Plan Meeting is scheduled for Aug. 10 at 9 a.m.
Councilor Bob Lund reported the trees that were planted in the Deer Creek City Park need to be watered.
The council also discussed the need for a new portable outdoor performance stage for town events, and possible installation of new LED lighting at the Lions’ Wayside Park.
Mayor Troy Beiswenger reported that the church group that meets at the community center would like to hold a Halloween event in town for kids this year, and the council gave their approval for that.