The recent Becker City Council meeting started with recognizing three members of the Becker Police and Becker Police Reserves.
Becker Police Officer Tristain Mello was awarded the Bronze Presidential Service Award for his contribution of over 100 hours of volunteer time with the police reserves. He was also made a full police officer during that year, otherwise, Chief Brent Baloun noted, he likely would have served many additional hours. Last year, he won the gold award for volunteering over 700 hours.
Reserve Officer Carter Erickson was also recognized for police reserve hours. In 2022, he volunteered over 325 hours. He received the Gold Presidential Service Award. He also received the gold award previously.
The final officer recognized was Officer Michael Gordon, for his efforts in saving the life of a civilian. December 18, Gordon was dispatched to a residence on Olympia Ave. Dispatch was contacted as a man had been found in the garage. Upon his arrival, Officer Gordon observed a woman performing CPR on the man. He stepped in to help immediately, noting no pulse and taking over CPR procedures. He continued with CPR until medical officials arrived on the scene. The man was able to survive after being brought to the hospital. The man expressed his sincere gratitude to Officer Gordon and the other people who helped to preserve his life that night.
Gordon was presented with the Life Saving Award from the Becker Police Department.
Margot Berry of the Becker branch of the Great River Regional Library gave the annual presentation for the library.
Last year, the library added three additional operating hours during the business week, closing an hour later on three week days. There were 2,146 borrowers, 55 of which were new borrowers, and 54,331 items checked out during the year. Their Locally Growin’ campaign was successful, and the library met their fundraising goal and was able to hire the raptor center to come out and give a presentation.
Berry finished her presentation by thanking the library’s community supporters.
Project 4 is the final improvement project for the Becker Business Park. It involves running a sewer line under Hwy. 10 to connect city water to the business park. The city went out for bids for the project in January. LaTour Construction was the low bidder at $2,533,789.29, and council opted to award them the bid. Work on the project will begin as soon as weather permits.
The city’s senior planner resigned in 2022, and the city has since been searching for candidates to fill the roles of senior planner and associate planner, but has not been successful in finding quality candidates. City staff decided to tackle the issue from two directions: by creating a new administrative assistant planning position (a part time position) and by hiring Stantec, Inc. to provide planning services to the city. Council approved both of these solutions.
City Hall Discussion
Council held a discussion on what to do about the city hall issue. The city has outgrown their city hall and is in need of more space. After discussing, council determined that the need was sufficient enough to pursue an addition to the existing city hall building.
Council did not make their decision final as of yet, but this issue will come back to the council again in the near future.
In Other Business, the Council:
• Approved the purchase of a new Ford F-550 with dump box and plow for public works;
• Rescinded a property tax abatement for Project Pine, a company that was interested in becoming a part of the business park, but which now has decided not to pursue their project any longer.