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City sets rates, regulations for West Side Park

While the work on the Hancock City Park may not be progressing as steadily as first hoped, it is getting done. The park project is nearly complete and ready for use so the Hancock City Council decided it was time to set some rules and guidelines governing it's use.

One of the first questions was who would be monitoring the park. City Clerk Andrea Swenson explained that she will be taking the reservations but there would need to be some communication between her and Police Chief Don Heikkinen regarding the names of those registered. She will be filling out camping cards for the registered campers and also posting reservations on a calendar that will be located on the shelter.

Water lines will have paddle locks attached so a list of people to contact will need to be made for the campers in order to unlock the lines. This will only be necessary if the registered campers arrive after city office hours. Swenson also asked what would happen if a reservation is made and someone else pulls in instead. Heikkinen will be given the authority to ask the non-registered campers to leave or move to a different spot.

Swenson then asked council what they wanted to do about alcohol and tobacco use in the park since the city currently has an ordinance restricting alcohol and requesting no tobacco use. She stated that state law allows these uses in areas that are rented. She also asked if alcohol use would be permitted in the shelter.

Council decided that as long as the rent is paid the alcohol use will be allowed in the rented areas. They will not be regulating tobacco use. Quiet hours were also discussed with the quiet time set to begin at 10 p.m. Surveillance cameras have been purchased and will be posted in the park.

Rates for camping and shelter rent were also set. RV camping will be $15 per night and tent camping will be $5 per night. The Shelter rent will be set at the next meeting.

Council decided to go with lighting at the same wattage as on main street for the park lights. This will be the most reasonable rate. If it appears that this does not cast enough light the wattage may need to be increased.

Public Works Director Vern Christie presented a description of picnic tables that he can get at a cost of $250 each. He will order one so they can look at them. The shelter will need at least six tables.

Councilman Dennis Schroeder, who is also a member of the Lions Club, informed council that construction of the shelter was set to begin the following night, Tuesday. When this is complete some additional landscaping and planting would need to be done. Christie planned to move some trees from the city nursery to the park.

Very soon now the park project will be complete and after reviewing all expenses, coming in very close to budget. A few unexpected expenses may bring it over the expected cost somewhat however the camping rent money could go to defray this.

Other business

* Joe Conroy came to council asking them to vacate a plotted alley located behind his home. He had purchased additional land and did not want an alley to cut through it in the future. While council assured him that they did not think an alley would ever go through there, they would not vacate the alley plot because there is room for future expansion in the area.

* Council also discussed the adoption of a Well Ordinance that could regulate private wells in the city. After contacting the MN Dept. of Health Council learned that they could not prohibit private wells which are installed for non-human consumption use. However, private wells can not be placed within city limits for human consumption use because of the possibility of contamination to the city water supply. The Dept. of Health has a plumbing code that polices activities of private wells.

* Council was notified that Hancock will not have LGA funding cut since the population is under 1,000.

* Swenson informed council that there are still several items on the punch list for the pond project that need to be completed before the final payment is made to Riley's.

* Christie presented bids for a 40' x 80' pole building that could be used to house city equipment. The new building would be located next to the existing city garage. Council will consider these bids at a special budget meeting set for August 24. Christie also asked for councils advise about repairs for the orange dump truck. It is in need of new brakes and some body work. He had a bid of $3,400 to do the work and explained that something needed to be done in order to meet DOT inspection requirements. He was going to check further on what DOT would require.

* After making a Gopher State One Call, Christie will be moving up to $850 worth of trees from the city nursery to boulevards around the city.

* City Attorney Neil Simonson reported that he and Heikkinen had checked on the licensing of vehicles that cross city streets after a letter the city received last month. The Minnesota law defines 'special mobile equipment' as vehicles not used on city streets but crosses street incidentally and do not need to be licensed. Therefore the mobile equipment used at Hancock Concrete which crosses the city streets 'incidentally' will not need to be licensed.