At the April 19 regular meeting of the Aitkin City Council, council members approved the hiring of two new candidates – Jonah Smith and Keith Wasserzieher – for city street department positions.

Both gentlemen accepted the positions they were offered and will start work between May 3 and 17.

As she made the proposal, City Administrator Rose Beverly told council members that Bob Nicko and one other street department employee will be retiring this year, so the city can hire two new employees without going out of its budget.

Nicko explained the wisdom of hiring the two, who have excellent qualifications and related work experience.

“Now is the time to grab both of these individuals — it takes a long time to learn all the details of a job like this, and we would like to get these two well-qualified candidates on board as soon as possible.

“There are so many tasks that need to be done and we have been short-handed for a long time,” said Nicko. “Being fully staffed will allow street department employees to take time off for sick leave and vacation.”

IN OTHER BUSINESS

The city has a certificate of deposit with Members  Cooperative Credit Union  coming to maturity that it plans to keep in a savings account for the short term. The city has fallen a bit short on accessible funds recently, so having  some funds in the MCCU savings account would be beneficial, Beverly explained.

Council member Jason Henke said that communication in the community about the park remodel, in particular, plans for the skate park, has not covered the topics the way the city would like.

The park committee drafted a press release that will explain more of the background behind the current proposals and submit it for publication.

The city council is continuing its work sessions with Brian Pisarek to develop a unified vision, goals and strategic plan for Aitkin.

The next regular meeting of the Aitkin City Council will be Monday, May 3 at 6 p.m. at the Aitkin Public Library.

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