WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     Westbrook ó Last year the city council looked into the possibility of refinancing the street project bond. However after the election the bond market became less of an option, and the council, under the advisement of their bonding agent Ehlers, declined to proceed with the refinancing, until the market looked more favorable.

    Ehlerís bonding representative, Todd Engen, again spoke to the council about another refinancing plan for the cityís Street Improvement Bond. Engen told the council that the refinancing picture has improved and could save the city and taxpayers around one hundred thousand dollars over the remaining life of the bond.

    The current rate they are paying is about four and a quarter percent. Engen said at current bonding rates they would be able to lower their rate to two and a quarter percent. That would yield a savings of about $100,000 using crossover refunding. He also recommended that they have an Arbitrage policy, which would help protect them from having an audit. The policy would cost $500.00. The bond sale would take place November 6 at the next council meeting. The council passed a resolution to proceed with Ehlers on the new bond refinancing plan.

    The council received information regarding making the National Flood Insurance Plan available to residents in the city. Mayor Dennis Phelps commented that the city would not incur any expense in having the city included in the plan. Even though the city is not in a designated flood plain,  there are some property owners in the city that could be affected by local ground water flooding. Phelps noted it is generally quite expensive, but it would be another option for those who might want to take advantage  of it.

    The council asked City Clerk Katie Steen to look into getting the necessary paperwork and possibly get it approved at the next council meeting.

    City Utilities Superintendent Dan Joel recommended that the city purchase an emergency generator for the lift station at the lagoon site. He noted that if they have an event where the power goes out for more than eight hours at the site, the sewer would start backing up in the city.

    The council agreed to have Carl look into getting a generator for the lift station.

    The council adopted changes in the employee recognition policy. The change would limit what and how money can be spent for employee recognition.

    It would allow for an employee gathering once a year on a pot luck basis. It would allow for a retirement plaque for employees who have at least 20 years. It would also allow for recognition of fire and ambulance personnel retiring after at  least 10 years.

    The council signed off on the Winter  Snow Agreement with the county and will receive $1,200 reimbursement.

    City Clerk Steen told the council that street employee Jacob Comnick will be getting licensed for Wastewater management at the city lagoons. Right now Street Supervisor  Carl Conrad is doing the daily checking and reporting of the lagoon site. Steen asked the council to allocate $1,000 a month for paying the two of them. The money will not affect the budget because it will be taken out of the sewer fund which generates about $10,000 per month.

    The council approved licenses for Liquor On Sale for VFW and Bonnie and Clydes 2 at $1,200, and for Off Sale at VFW and Bonnie and Clydes 2 at $100. Sunday intoxicating liquor VFW and Bonnie and Clydes 2 at $100.

    Cigarette license: Maynards and Expressway $20.00. Games of  Skill: at VFW and Bonnie  and Clydes 2 $15.00 per game.

    Street Supervisor Carl Conrad reported the new heater has been installed and the pool has been winterized. He says they have been busy picking up branches and street sweeping.

    Police Chief Alan Wahl told the council they are looking at hiring a couple of part time police officers and have one  other yet to be interviewed.

    The council approved two building permits.

    Jan Van Maasdam to replace a driveway approach at her home on Ash  Avenue.

    Scott and Judy Schoborg to build a 30 x 26 garage at their home  on Davis Avenue.

September Police Report

    One air ambulance assist. Issued two traffic tickets. Criminal Damage to property. Vehicle Damage. Civil issue. Two Domestic issues.