On Sept. 10, Garrison City Council came together, with the exception of Suzanne Foster.
Chief Bruce Breun of Garrison Fire and Rescue proposed adding five more medical positions to the force. People in these positions would not do fire work, and would have strictly medical tasks.
These would be in addition to the usual five open positions on the force.
Breun’s proposition was given a motion and approved, with the addition that in the future, hires to the department would have their reference checks sent to the city council as well as Chief Breun, as requested by Council Member Cathy Thompson.
Breun reported that the fire department currently has 19 firefighters total; less than he would prefer. He announced that the department would host two open houses in hopes to bring numbers up. An open house is scheduled for Sept. 21 at 10 a.m.
In addition to the open houses, Breun said he’d be open to a “ride-along” option, similar to how law enforcement offers them. While Breun said he sees “no reason not to,” the council decided it best to consult legal advisors before officially allowing the opportunity.
“I’d like to do a ride-along,” said Mayor Loren Larson.
The proposed budget for 2020 shows a receipt total of $234,940.83, down from the $256,696.33 total in 2019’s actual budget, but will be on par with the $234,940.83 in proposed disbursements. The preliminary budget was voted on and approved.
Larson reported that a meeting with officials from the Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Department of Transportation and Representative Dale Lueck would soon be underway to discuss the state-owned property that the city maintains but gains no jurisdiction from. This dilemma has plagued the city in the past, and could continue to in the future depending on the outcome of the meeting.
Joseph Wenzel, who was a guest at the city council meeting in July, has yet to remove the house from property in the city. In the latest of several deadlines given for the house’s removal, he was given until Oct. 1 to have the structure completely removed from the property. The council is preparing to take action and will begin weighing options, one of which could use the house as a training exercise for the Garrison Fire and Rescue. The presence of asbestos in the house may weigh in on the final decision made by the council, if the decision should fall to them.
It was also reported that the promised upkeep has not been delivered on the premises.
Due to Council Member Suzanne Foster’s new work schedule, the meeting time will be changed from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., but will remain on the second Tuesday of every month.
Garrison City Council briefs
• The council acknowledged and accepted a $3,000 donation to the fire department from Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church. Chief Breun said the funds will be used to purchase seven new pagers for the department, totaling $3,276. The $276 not covered by the donation will be funded by the city.
• Council Member Bill Stimac said that a former city attorney is now serving as a judge.
• Mayor Larson proposed applying for funds to redesign the city website, and utilize it to disburse relevant information to the city’s citizens.