OLMSTED COUNTY NOTEBOOK -- Oronoco looks at municipal sewer, water

ORONOCO -- Oronoco city officials hope to secure more than $5 million in state grants for housing improvements and citywide water and sewer services.

Oronoco's nearly 900 residents currently receive water through private or shared wells, and each home has an individual sewage system.

City officials say they have been looking at providing citywide water and sewer for about two years. The cost, city officials estimate, could be about $15 million.

Oronoco Mayor Joy Bertsinger said the city is considering applying for a $1.4 million state sewer and water assessment and abatement grant in November. The city is also applying for other state loans for nearly $4 million.

The city is in the process of surveying residents to discover their top five ideas on how the city can improve. The survey of Oronoco residents is being collected on Sunday and will play a large role in determining the city's future course of action, according to Bertsinger.


The best-case scenario, she said, is the city implementing citywide water and sewer service in fall 2003.

Oronoco's third annual meet-and-greet will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Oronoco Community Center.

This year's event will include a visit from the Mayo One helicopter. Representatives from the Olmsted County Sheriff's Department will discuss neighborhood watch programs, and children will be able to explore the city's fire trucks and first responder's vehicle. Children will also have a chance to win a bicycle in the coloring contest. Coloring books can be picked up in advance by calling Oronoco City Hall at 367-4405 or visiting the town hall at 115 Second St. N.W.

"Come have an ice cream, visit with friends and make some new ones," Bertsinger said.

Chatfield meetings televised

CHATFIELD -- The Chatfield City Council is getting more visibility lately, specifically on cable TV. Joel Young, Chatfield city clerk, said the city's local cable provider has decided to show the council's meeting on public access channels.

"I think it's great," Young said. "It keeps people more informed about what's happening, and they get to see the meetings from the privacy of their own home."

July's meeting was the first to be broadcast on cable. According to Young, school board meetings might also be in the cable lineup soon.


Olmsted News is a new weekly report on what's happening in small cities in and bordering on Olmsted County. The report will appear every Monday in the City/Region section. If you have news or comments, call area reporter Lanier Frush Holt at 285-7635 or send e-mail to

What To Read Next
Get Local