Blue Earth City Council ended the year with a nod to the future of aviation. That is to say in the county of Faribault.
In a meeting held Monday, December 19, City Council reviewed and approved a letter of intent submitted by Sean and Crystal Schimmelman, owners of Advantage Aviation Services, LLC.
“We… would like to inform you of our intention to build a hangar at Blue Earth Airport (KSBU) on hangar locations 12 or 22”, write the Schimmelmans. “We intend to use the building as an aircraft/avionics maintenance facility in support of a pipeline monitoring company and local aircraft owners.”
The couple, who are moving their business from St. Paul, intend to begin construction in the spring, in time for early summer occupancy.
Airport manager Luke Steier, who was present at the meeting, expressed support for the Schimmelmans’ business venture.
“At the moment, we do not have approved maintenance at the airport”, established tax. “We have a void in the community. It would be a great asset for our community to recover this.
The board responded favorably to the news and voted to approve the Schimmelmans’ letter of intent.
“I think it’s great to have another company come to town,” said board member Ann Hanna.
The council also discussed the necessary maintenance of the existing Blue Earth airport.
“There was hail damage”city administrator Mary Kennedy explained.
Kato Roofing estimated repairs to the airport roof will cost $94,240. However, Kennedy added that the city will only be responsible for paying the airport’s $1,000 excess.
The board unanimously approved repairs to the airport roof.
In other matters, the Blue Earth City Council:
• Approval of resolution 22-31 setting the property tax levy for 2023 at $1,868,884.65. The levy represents a 4.1% increase over last year’s levy.
• Approved Blue Earth Area senior Cass Davis to serve as an honorary member of City Council in 2023.
• Approved Resolution 22-30 directing improvements to sections of Moore Street, Galbraith Street, Ramsey Street, First Street and Third Street, and directing Bolton & Menk to prepare plans and specifications and to tender for the planned improvements.
• Approved resolution 22-32 to formally accept a classification and compensation study submitted by Flaherty and Hood.
“This resolution will allow us to formally implement each of these base pay structures so that we can implement the new pay scale at the staff level,”Kennedy explained.“There will be more for us to do for state pay equity.”
• Received an update from Board Member John Huisman regarding the progress of the Faribault County Humane Society (FCHS) on their new facility.
Huisman said FCHS has installed a drainage system and new flooring in the facility and is on schedule to meet its Feb. 1 completion date.
• Approval of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Law Enforcement Labor Services Local 250 implementing the new pay scale for the police service, which City Council adopted on December 9th.
• Approval of Order 22-19 to rezone parcels of land on Grant Street as HBLI Freeway Limited Commercial and Industrial Zones.
• Approved Blue Earth Fire Department & Rescue Relief Association’s request to increase its budgeted benefits for members from $2,600 to $2,675 per year of service.
• Refusal of Channel One Regional Food Bank’s request to distribute food from the fairgrounds once a month in 2023.
Kennedy explained that the Channel One distribution point had been moved from the fairgrounds previously due to congestion. She recommended that the council offer different locations to Channel One that will be better equipped to accommodate the flow of traffic.
• Approved the resignation of part-time Constable Ben Johnson from the Blue Earth Police Department.
• Approval of Lost Saint Brewing’s application for a municipal liquor license for sale, subject to minor corrections to the application.