Breckenridge swears in new alderman

New Breckenridge City Council member Rick Busko was sworn in during the council’s meeting Monday, Jan. 9.

Breckenridge’s new aldermen were sworn in Monday, Jan. 7, during the first city council meeting of 2019.

Mayor Russell Wilson and City Administrator Renae Smith swore in new council member Rick Busko and incumbent James Jawaski. Jim Gill was again designated as vice mayor by council vote.

Committee assignments and meeting schedules were reviewed.

Director of Public Services Neil Crocker reported on a package he received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on the Letter of Map Revision (LOMR). Receipt of this package officially starts a 30-day comment period. 

What FEMA is looking for is elected officials and other individuals who are essentially affected by proposed modifications to provide comment of a non-technical informational nature, he explained.

Per government definition, LOMR is the FEMA’s official modification to an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). LOMRs can result in a physical change to the existing regulatory floodway, the effective Base Flood Elevations (BFE’s), or the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). 

“It is a bit frustrating on our part,” Crocker said. “We have looked at the maps and they do not include any of the information that was submitted by Interstate Engineering, relative to the Otter Tail River. We did realize that the information would probably not be included.”

Crocker went on to say that what FEMA is also looking for during this 30-day comment period is to make sure that the boundaries are correct as far as property lines, the correct spellings of streets, and other data. The comment period was basically inconsequential and not much was expected to happen, he continued.

That package is at Breckenridge City Hall with all the large size maps available for public review. The data package is so large that it is not feasible to send it out to residents. Crocker wants to make sure that residents know that it is available to them to go through it.

The council also reviewed and approved bills and claims for the city through Dec. 31, 2018, totaling $37,744.84 and through Jan. 7, 2019, totaling $36,035.17.  Bill and claims for public utilities through Dec. 31, totaling  $592,127.25, the bulk of which was totaling $584,878.35 to PKG for the water plant, and through Jan. 7 totaling $6,076.26, were also reviewed and approved.

Smith presented information on a pay equity report required by the State of Minnesota every three years. Salary information was entered into the Minnesota pay equity system and evaluated to make sure the city is in compliance with Minnesota State laws to eliminate any gender-based inequity in compensation. The compliance report consists of three areas, all of which the city passed per Smith. Council approved the resolution authorizing the submission of a pay equity report.

In order to meet 5G demand across the nation, providers are now wanting to implement small cell wireless facilities. In the past, it was only macro-cell facilities located on large stand-alone towers or water towers, for example. The new small cell facilities could be placed on rooftops and utility posts, for example.

Currently, if someone would give the city a permit wanting to put small facilities within the city, with no guidelines in place prior to Jan. 14, 2019, the city would lose their say in being able to implement any as to where they would be allowed to be placed or what aesthetics standards should be met. This would be an initial date to have them set by, with an opportunity to amend them until April 15. Council approved the resolution as presented.

Mayor Wilson read a proclamation designating Jan. 27-Feb 2, 2019 as Catholic Education Week.

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