Discussion on the future of Pebble Creek dominated the Becker City Council Executive Session as the city breezed through a rather light agenda Tuesday night.
Council opened the executive session and advised the public a task force has been formed and they will be responsible for doing research, gathering data and finding solutions on how best to have the golf course operate in 2015 and beyond.
The task force will consist of all five council members and Chairman Adam Oliver said it was decided that way because they’d rather be fully involved in the process, rather than have other individuals do the research and report to council with their findings.
Oliver also read aloud the task force’s mission statement and said regular meetings of the task force will be held during the executive session meetings — with the possibility of adding future meeting dates.
The duty of the task force Tuesday was to define potential scenarios and eliminate any that council thinks is not a viable option at this time. Those scenarios include, selling the golf course, hiring a management company, leasing the golf course, allowing the city to operate the full 27-hole golf course, having the city operate an 18-hole golf course with the elimination of one of the nine and allow for a nonprofit corporation to lease the golf course.
The lease option was thrown out and the selling of the golf course was optioned with the exception it only be sold to someone willing to run the golf course and not a developår.
At the next golf task force meeting April 15, the members hope to get public comment in relation to discussion topics. They also plan to build the pro/con list as a group on each of the scenarios. Finally, they would like to eventually build the community asset list as a group.
Oliver warned interested parties the next task force’s meeting could span two dates.
They also plan to talk about the financial aspects of each scenario at all future meetings. A full public hearing is expected to be scheduled at a later date.
Water/Wastewater Supervisor Dave Pesola asked council to approve design-only services from Foth Infrastructure for modifications to the Headworks of the WWTF. The services are expected to cost no more than $68,274.
The proposed modifications include a mechanical screen for the domestic WWTF wet well, a grit removal system for the 18-inch industrial sewer line and a flow diversion system.
Pesola said the flow diversion system would allow the WWTF operators to divert flow from the 18-inch sewer line into either the industrial or domestic WWTF.
Pesola added the modification will provide future operational flexibility, process protection from grit and other materials and provide much-needed redundancy when equipment is undergoing needed maintenance.
Pesola said the $68,274 will come out of the wastewater enterprise fund.
City Administrator Greg Pruszinske asked council to approve a resolution giving staff authority to sign up for a SCORE grant and accept funds in the amount of up to $14,000.
Pruszinske said the City of Becker works with Sherburne County solid waste to maintain a compost facility along with Big Lake, Zimmerman and Elk River. All four cities are part of the recycle board and the grant will allow the City of Becker to have a contractor come into the site and grind brush and leaves for the upcoming spring, summer and fall seasons.
The contractor will be approved through the county.
Mayor Lefty Kleis read aloud a document proclaiming April 1 as National Service Recognition Day in Becker.
Kleis specifically mentioned a group of senior volunteers from Becker who have contributed over 1,448 hours to the Foster Grandparent program run by Catholic Charities of St. Cloud.
From Sept., 2013 to Feb., 2014, Jean Brown, Glenn Lahm, Lois Lahm and Ray Marholz served students at the Becker Primary School as they worked one-on-one with kids who needed extra help with reading, spelling and math skills. The Foster Grandparents also serve as mentors to the youth that need extra emotional support.
The four volunteers from Becker served a minimum of 15 hours per week and were often described as “indispensable” and “a joy to work with” by staff.
• Shelly Mattson said the recently-formed suicide task force has put together a spreadsheet that is filled with community resources and groups to aid parents when searching for things their child or children can participate in;
• Cindy Kazeck of the Becker Community Center is celebrating her 20th year of employment with the city;
• Al Foss of Public Works is celebrating his 18th year with Becker;
• April 26, the Becker Beyond the Yellow Ribbon committee will be holding a “Kids Day” at Gily’s from 10 a.m. to noon where they will be serving food, conducting games and giving away prizes. The committee also plans to officially install the BTYR signs along Hwy. 10 that morning.
The next Becker City Council meeting is April 15 at 5 p.m.