Council hears update on Red Power Roundup event

Published 9:25 am Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In just two short days, the first of the tractors that will be on display during the Red Power Roundup will be arriving in Albert Lea.

With the national tractor show scheduled for next week, organizers and local officials are making last-minute arrangements this week to make sure the event goes on without a hitch.

During the Albert Lea City Council meeting Monday, event director Bruce Jensen, president of the Minnesota chapter of the International Harvester Collectors Club, gave an update on the preparations to bring at least 30,000 International Harvester enthusiasts to the community.

He said the Freeborn County Fair manager and the fairground crews have been working diligently to prepare the fairgrounds for the event and flags will be going up this week as well.

The event is scheduled for June 21-25.

During an interview in May, Jensen said he was hoping for 2,000 tractors.

During the Monday meeting, councilors approved allowing semitrailers and other contained motorized campers to park at the Blazing Star Landing throughout June 20-25 because of a lack of space elsewhere.

For the trailers and vehicles to park there, city staff would need to mow and lime stripe the site and mark monitoring wells.

To defer some of the costs, there will be a one-time fee per parked unit of $10.

In other action, the City Council:

• Voted to authorize a study of West Main Street near Hills Garden Center after the Engineering Department received a complaint of seepage surfacing from a suspected broken drain tile.

The study will look at options to best serve this area.

Staff with both the city and Freeborn County investigated the complaint and confirmed the seepage to be sewage.

Freeborn County staff then researched septic system records in the area and found that very few of the homes had a septic system permit on file.

Many of the homes affected are already served by city water but are still in Albert Lea Township.

• Awarded bids for the 40-by-40-foot addition to the animal shelter operated by the Freeborn County Humane Society.

The low bidder was Welker Custom Homes Inc. of Owatonna for about $216,000.

Construction is slated to begin within the next couple weeks.

The addition is expected to double the size of the current building.

• Amended the city ordinance that discusses where in the city alcohol can be served with an on-sale liquor license.

The list now includes the National Guard Armory, City Arena, the Freeborn County Fairgrounds, Bancroft Bay Park, the cottage and new pavilion at Edgewater Park, and the Fountain Lake Park and gazebo.

The groups serving the liquor must have insurance.

• Authorized the purchase of a new Zamboni ice resurfacer at City Arena, which will replace the 1972 one purchased when the arena opened in 1976.

The propane model is estimated at about $94,000. The purchase is budgeted in the arena’s budget.

• Amended a task order with Mead & Hunt for work being done at the Albert Lea Airport.

• Approved a request from the American Legion Leo Carey Post 56 for the annual flag-burning ceremony at 6:15 p.m. today in the North Broadway Avenue parking lot.

The Legion requested the north half of the lot be used for the event.

Firefighters will be on hand.

• Approved a joint-powers agreement with the state that will allow the police department to access federal funding to assist in training, education and enforcement with other jurisdictions to combat Internet crimes against children.

• Approved a request from Aylwin’s Concessions to sell cotton candy and snow cones from a tent in the parks in Albert Lea during the summer.

• Approved an off premise liquor license for the American Legion for June 23-25 and July 1-3.

• Set the city’s assessment interest rate.

• Voted to ask for an increase in reimbursement for the maintenance agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation for maintenance of U.S. Highway 65 and a portion of state Highway 13.

• Approved a resolution allowing the city to dispose of a 1982 Lumina from the city’s Inspection Department, which is no longer in running condition.

• Approved blocking off Abbott Street from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 25 for a house auction at 925 Vine St.

• Approved a request to extend the park hours to midnight at Edgewater Park on Oct. 15 for a wedding reception being held at the new pavilion.