The Medina City Council, Tuesday, Nov. 19, appointed Medina Police Sergeant Jason Nelson to succeed Edgar Belland as Public Safety Director after he retires on March 31.

At the meeting, the council also took up other business. Here are meeting highlights.

NEW PUBLIC SAFETY DIRECTOR

Public Safety Director Belland in September announced his impending retirement in order to give Medina time to seek his successor. He has served with the Medina Police for more than 28 years.

The city opened up the public safety director position to internal candidates and gave city staff the option to seek external candidates, if needed. After interviewing internal candidates, Medina decided to look no further. Sgt. Nelson was the top ranked candidate.

The city decided to give Nelson a starting annual salary of $101,337.

Nelson joined the Medina Police in October 2000. He achieved certification in emergency management in 2013. His current duties include supervising patrol and investigations and doing most administrative functions within the department.

In 2014, he shot a man who was using a machete to attack a Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputy, and the deputy escaped with minor injuries. He received the Medal of Honor Award in 2015 from the Minnesota Chiefs Association and the First Responder Award from the I-94 West Chamber of Commerce for his life saving actions, which demonstrated bravery, heroism and self-sacrifice under a life-threatening situation.

During Belland’s absence to attend the FBI Academy, Nelson served as Acting Chief of Police. He oversaw remodeling of the Clams Corps Building on Clydesdale Trail to transform it into the new home of Medina Police and Public Works.

Belland has said that Nelson has been “my right hand man… He does a great job of backing me up.”

A graduate of Tartan High School, Nelson holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice/Police Science from Alexandria Technical College. He served for six years with the Police Department in North Sioux City, South Dakota – two of them as a patrol officer and the rest as a sergeant.

NATURAL RESOURCES GRANT

Turning to the subject of grant funding, the City Council approved an agreement in which Medina accepted a $20,000 Natural Resources Grant from Hennepin County and the state of Minnesota.

The money will be used for restoration projects in the Lake Ardmore Subwatershed, including stream bank stabilization and carp removal. Engineers anticipate improved water quality in Lake Independence as a result. Construction is scheduled for 2020.

REGIONAL LIFT STATION

In other matters, the City Council reviewed a feasibility report for constructing a regional sanitary sewer lift station to serve businesses and residences in the Willow Drive/Highway 55 area. The station would serve buildings that cannot utilize gravity sanitary sewers.

The council decided to table the report until the Dec. 3 meeting.

City Engineering Consultant Jim Stremel, of WSB, said the pace of development in the proposed service area of the lift station would determine when Medina would need to build the lift station and the size of the pumps that would be needed. He displayed a map showing a service area in the vicinity of Willow Drive between Highway 55 and Medina’s border with Corcoran.

Medina city staff and the Planning Commission are reviewing a proposal from Adams Pest Control for a large development west of Willow Drive. Stremel said information about the Adams application is likely to be available by Dec. 3.

Then the City Council could consider authorizing engineers to draft a design and specifications for the lift station. These documents would be available whenever Medina decides to solicit bids from contractors. Construction could happen as soon as June to August 2020.

Medina could construct the lift station in two phases, Stremel said. Phase one utilizing a smaller pump would cost an estimated $786,514. A phase two upgrade to a larger pump would cost an estimated $80,548. Installing the larger pump initially would cost an estimated $807,689 and save the city an estimated $59,000.

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