Wednesday, May 29th, 2024 Church Directory

Halvorson defends city engineer

The Big Lake City Council met on Tuesday, April 2.  The meeting was held due to the rescheduling of the cancelled March 29 meeting.  Mayor Paul Knier and the other four council members were all in attendance.  No public comments were made during the open forum and the council moved forward to approve the consent agenda.  

Consent Agenda

Twenty items were approved in the consent agenda including approval of an upcoming City/Township Joint Powers Board Meeting scheduled for April 24 at 4 p.m. in the city council chambers.  The meeting will take public comments concerning the development application put forward by Cargill Kitchen Solutions, Inc.   Land was recently annexed and a site plan will be reviewed for a parking lot expansion on that land.  

A motion was approved for a resolution to complete the Prairie Meadows Fourth Addition.  The Fourth Addition consists of the building of 60 twin home units. The motion authorizes the city attorney to finalize the development contract with the developer.

Fire Report   

The Big Lake Fire Dept. shared their calls of interest for the month of March.  The Fire Dept. received a total of 89 calls:  65 for the city, 18 for the township, three for Orrock, and three for mutual aid.  There were seven notable calls to address fires, four regarding motor vehicle accidents, six calls for hazardous conditions (gas leaks, electrical), and eight calls for medical assistance.  Fireman Eric Burleigh was recognized for his seven years of service.  

Police Report

The Big Lake Police Dept. received 1342 calls for service between the beginning of February through March 18.  A number of calls were for security checks (155), directed patrols (85), summons issued (69), and background checks (60).  Notable calls included one DWI arrest, 30 calls for domestic assault, one motor vehicle theft, 16 gun permits, four warrants issued, and 13 total arrests.  

Police Chief John Kaczmarek announced upcoming dates for “Coffee with the Chief” which gives residents the opportunity to receive free coffee and chat with Kaczmarek himself.  The next “Coffee with the Chief” was announced for June 5.  Kaczmarek also noted that the Big Lake Police Dept. is currently hiring.

Co. Rd. 43 Update

City Engineer Layne Otteson highlighted a number of construction projects that are in the works.  He noted that the north half of the Co. Rd. 43 project will resume work on June 1.  During the mayor and council reports, Councilman Ken Halverson defended Otteson.  

“People on Facebook like to attack Layne about the Co. Rd. 43 project. Layne did not have input on Co. Rd. 43, on how it’s laid out and everything. So, I’d like people to address their anger toward the county and not toward Layne.  It’s not our engineer,” said Halverson.  

Halvorson then referred to a previously held meeting with the County Engineer. 

“People have to go to those meetings and speak up,” Halvorson continued. “I went in there and complained.  I thought it was a terrible idea and more people need to tell the engineer that and not our engineer. So, I just wish they’d get off Layne and go after the county.”

Administrator’s Report

The administrator’s report was presented by City Administrator Hannah Klimmek, who thanked all the divisions in the public works department for the “tremendous job they did with all the snow last week.”    She also noted that there were minimal issues with parked cars during the snowfall due to the work of the Big Lake Police Dept.

Other Items

Halvorson recognized Public Works Administrative Assistant Cathy Lindberg for the work she has done for the city.  Lindberg is retiring.  Councilman Paul Seefeld shared the names of the two new members of the Big Lake Planning Commission, Mason Busch and Bryce Tradewell.  With those additions the planning commission has a full board.  

No other business was addressed and the meeting was adjourned.