At its June 7 meeting, the Albertville City Council discussed the upcoming finance workshop with the STMA School District, and received various important updates from City Administrator Adam Nafstad.

STMA FINANCE WORKSHOP

As has been discussed over the past few months in the STMA region, the St. Michael-Albertville School District has been facing a “perfect storm” of a financial crisis, resulting in discussions of a potential operating referendum. A vote on this referendum — which would attempt to offset the district’s revenue loss of $2.5 million — would come to fruition this fall, and a Steering Committee has been organized to discuss the prospect. Both Administrator Nafstad and council member Aaron Cocking are on this committee, and have met periodically with other members and the School Board.

The council ultimately needed to decide on a date and time for a meeting with STMA’s Superintendent, Dr. Ann-Marie Foucault, to discuss the state of the district’s finances and how discussions have been going. This workshop was set for Monday, June 21, at 6:15 p.m. at City Hall.

Council member Bob Zagorski also expressed interest in learning more details about the district’s financial situation, as he has a background in this type of management.

“I am all about numbers, and I want to see what buckets they are looking at,” he said.

“I told her you were a numbers guy when I met with her,” said Cocking, “And she said that if you have specific questions and want to know more, you can email her or reach out and give her a call.”

Cocking said that Superintendent Foucault and the rest of the Steering Committee are generally interested in involving more community members in the referendum process.

“I think she wants to be engaged and wants to answer your questions to get you on board,” he said. “And I think a lot of people are going to want to see that too.”

The School Board will make the ultimate decision about whether or not to vote on an operating referendum on Aug. 2, with the vote on Nov. 2.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR UPDATE

City Administrator Nafstad updated the council on a slew of local projects, including the 2021 street project and improvements to Barthel Industrial Drive. He said that the street project has been awarded and pre-construction meetings have begun, with construction anticipated following the Friendly City Days celebration. Nafstad also reported that the city was recently awarded $740,000 in Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) funding for the project at Barthel Industrial Drive.

Central Park is also moving ahead with its improvements, and Nafstad said that construction of a pavilion will conclude shortly.

“Staff is working on a reservation policy for the pavilion, and will be presenting a draft policy to the Council at an upcoming meeting,” he said.

He has also been working on helping establish a Quiet Zone in town.

“I met with the county to review the current quiet zone requirements, [and] BNSF informed the county they are moving forward with the gates and arms at the CSAH 19 and CSAH 37 crossings later this summer,” Nafstad said. “I will get more information from FRA on the risk index and options for wayside horns and report back to the council.”

Nafstad also reported that the Skate Park contract has been finalized, and he expects construction to commence “anyday.”

“We anticipate a 5 to 7 week build period, and plan to open the skate park mid-July … Construction of the basketball court will follow,” he said.

OTHER

AUTHORIZED the hiring of Tomas Stubbe and True Vang for the positions of Reserve

Firefighter with the Albertville Fire Department.

CANCELED the July 6 City Council meeting.

SET workshops for July 19, Aug. 2 and Aug. 16, at 6 p.m. to discuss the 2021 preliminary budget.

APPROVED a special event permit for Fehn Companies for their 50th Anniversary Party to be held on June 10. They are expecting upwards of 400 people to be in attendance.

AUTHORIZED the purchase and installation of a new fire alarm system for the Albertville Public Works Building.

UPDATED on the new city website, which is up and live.

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