Summerfest dance will return to Florence Park
A few years ago, the Stewartville Chamber of Commerce moved the city’s Summerfest dance downtown to the city hall parking lot because it was centrally located. Next year's dance, on July 3, will be back at Florence Park.
"It’ll be more like a city celebration in a park vs. a parking lot," said council member Joel Packer, speaking for the chamber, at Tuesday's city council meeting.
Council member Gary Stensrud asked Packer if residents near the park had been notified about the proposed change and if they would be included in future discussions about the event. Packer said letters had been sent to nearby residents.
City Clerk Cheryl Roeder said she has received three phone calls about the letters. She said two of the callers were in favor of the move and one was against it, although no one spoke at the the meeting.
Packer said he had visited with Olmsted County Sheriff’s deputy David Satzke about security for the dance and that "all interested parties" would be included in planning.
Packer said in the past, most residents near the park wanted the event to be there.
The council approved the change.
In other business:
• The council approved the 2011 tax levy of $1,953,071.
• The council approved the 2011 fee schedule with a few changes.
It eliminated the fee for a roof permit because fixing a roof involves maintaining a home, not adding to its size, Stensrud said. Residents still have to get a zoning certificate from the city and a building permit from the county for roof repairs.
It also lowered the permit fees for adding a deck, open-air porch or shed from $50 to $10.
And it approved a 20-cent monthly increase in water rates and a 60-cent monthly increase in sewer rates, as well as a $2 increase to the monthly capital improvement projects fee for these utilities.
• The council approved a conditional-use permit for Buckhead Properties, represented by Lori Miller-Beach, to operate a quilting/craft retreat at the former Home Sweet Home building. The planning and zoning commission recommended approval with the conditions that there would be no outside vending machines and that outside garbage receptacles would be enclosed.
• The council approved cigarette licenses for four businesses and eight liquor licenses.
• Deputy Satzke received a round of applause when he told the council all local businesses that sell alcohol had passed a recent compliance check.
• Mayor Jimmy-John King said Mark and Stephanie Peterson had been awarded the mayor’s Community Service Award for service to the city.
• Public works director Mark Stevens reported city crews and Minnesota Department of Transportation crews were still working on clearing snow from last weekend's storm.
"If we can find the hockey rinks, we hope to have them ready for Christmas break," Stevens said. "They’re plumb full of snow."
• Finance director Barb Neubauer said the city had received a $2,000 grant from Alliant Energy to buy pool umbrellas.
Upcoming events in Stewartville include:
• Friday, holiday open house at Eastwood Bank.
• 7 p.m. Saturday, "A Stewie Christmas," Stewartville High School Performing Arts Center.
• 7 p.m. Tuesday, EDA meeting, city hall.
• 7 p.m. Dec. 28, city council meeting, city hall. During the meeting, King will announce the winners of the lighting contest. Nominations of businesses and residences may be made at city hall.