City of Milaca sign.JPG

City leaders met Monday afternoon and Friday afternoon last week, eventually passing a COVID-19-related resolution declaring Milaca a business-friendly community. Council members stopped far short of taking any action that would have turned a blind eye to non-enforcement of Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home executive order.

Milaca will use federal COVID-19 dollars to buy touchless faucets.

Public Works Supervisor Gary Kirkeby reviewed the $16,200 pandemic-related expenditure during his activity report at the Aug. 20 Milaca City Council meeting.

Mayor Pete Pedersen asked for confirmation regarding the touchless faucets and the use of CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act funding.

City Manager Tammy Pfaff confirmed the expenditure could be approved as part of a city resolution accepting the funding and submittal of COVID-19 expenditures.

Milaca is eligible for $218,110 in Coronavirus Relief Fund payments. Pedersen said the council could give Kirkeby approval to make the purchase.

During the council’s Aug. 20 meeting, city leaders unanimously approved a resolution to accept the CARES Act funding and submit expenditures.

That resolution called for allocating $75,046 in CARES Act funds under the categories of compliance with public health measures, economic support, medical expenses and public health expenses for the period ending July 31, 2020.

“These faucets are automatic and will be going in all restrooms in the city’s parks and at Milaca City Hall, and the fire hall and at the ambulance garage,” Kirkeby said. “They will also be installed at the senior center, museum, and liquor store.”

The city needs 18 of the faucets. Kirkeby said he received cost estimates from Jensen-Andersen Plumbing & Heating in Milaca and Gratole Plumbing in Foley.

“Jensen-Andersen’s quote was $900 each for the faucets and the Foley plumber was $750 apiece,” Kirkeby reported.

Mayor Pete Pedersen wanted to stay local with the purchase.

The council unanimously approved the quote from Jensen-Andersen in Milaca.

The total CRF aid available to Mille Lacs cities and townships is $1,165,671.

The funding is to be used for necessary expenditures incurred due to COVID-19 that were not accounted for in budgets approved as of March 27, 2020, or will be incurred from March 1, 2020, to Dec. 1, 2020.

The funds cannot be used, however, for a revenue replacement for lower than expected tax or other revenue collections and for expenditures. Applications for this funding will be accepted until Sept. 15, 2020.

The total amount of CRF allotted to the cities in Mille Lacs County is $773,896. Foreston is eligible for $39,780. Isle is eligible for $58,690. Milaca is eligible for $218,110. Onamia is eligible for $64,793. Pease is eligible for $17,630. Princeton is eligible for $358,243. Wahkon is eligible for $16,650. Bock is not eligible.

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