WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     Westbrook — At the previous month’s council session a proposal was given to the council by a member of Ehlers Municipal Advisors. The proposal could save the city in the area of  $90,000.

    At the current meeting representative Todd Engen of Ehlers gave the council more information about the proposal.     

    Engen  explained to the council,  refinancing of the  Street Improvement Bonds proposal with an Advance Refunding Bond. He said “you can lock in a favorable bond rate from 4.0 to 2.5 interest rate. That would knock off about 100 basis points. As a municipal advisor, we hope to save you about $100,000 over the next 12 years.”

    Engen told the council he would be very sensitive to the bond rates — we hope to get as good a refunding rate as we can. There are a lot of factors that can determine if it is a good deal. Right now we feel it is a good time to do it — Engen expects the cost of setting it up to come in lower.

    One of the council members  asked about the costs, if the savings estimates were after costs were taken out? He replied that indeed the figure he gave them was a net figure, and it is after the costs are taken out.

    At that time the council voted by resolution to hire Ehlers as their bond representative and to pursue the Advance Refunding process.

    He also suggested the city have a post bond issue policy in place. It is a really good idea — it costs about $500 to draft one.

    Street supervisor Carl Conrad reported the city camp ground and city park shelter have been winterized.

    There is a crew working on the sewer line which was recently relined.  There were some leaks in the line as well as leaks in some of the manholes that are being repaired. The council thought the sewer should be video taped to see if the repairs are working before paying the hold back money.

    Township fire and ambulance contracts were renewed by the council. The ambulance contract was not increased and remained at $45 per section.

    The fire contract for 2017-2018 was increased from $125 per section to $150 per section. It was noted that the rates had not been increased for some time, and that it put the department in line or lower than most neighboring departments.

    The council approved a contract with Cottonwood County for dispatching for fire, ambulance and police.

    The council voted to sign an agreement with Plum Creek Agency. The agreement is for sharing of books, materials, and other resources and programs.

    The council approved a language change in the Fire Relief By Laws. The changes were basic to the by laws, the change was necessary to comply with state laws.

    The council received a request from Lutheran Social Services to renew the meal site contract. The council discussed the matter and decided to talk with the agency to see  if the community might be better served if it were held at the Good Samaritan Center where the meals are prepared. They wondered if it was the best use of the facility due to the very low volume of people using it on a regular basis.

    A building permit was issued to Gary Larson to install a storage shed on his property on Cedar Avenue.

October Police Report:

    One  accident investigation; two air ambulance assists; seven tickets issued; court appearance for theft case; one county sheriff assist; one state patrol assist.