Council approves contract for new administrator
Timothy Ibisch is officially the new city administrator for Kasson.
The Kasson City Council approved the contract with Ibisch at its meeting Nov. 26. Ibisch signed the contract on Nov. 22.
Ibisch has served as the city administrator for Blue Earth for five years. Prior to his Blue Earth, he served as a mineman for the U.S. Navy in San Diego for four years, a coordinator for the U.S .Census Bureau in Rochester for one year and as a city clerk/administrator for the city of Tyler for nine months.
Ibisch holds a master of arts in urban and regional studies and a local government management certification from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a bachelor of science in geography from the same university.
Ibisch is expected to begin in Kasson on Jan. 6. His starting salary is $116,480.
Council members also discussed the budget for the coming year with Mayor Chris McKern saying the big wild card in the budget is personnel. The council will need to decide, he said, if they want to add personnel or keep personnel at the same level. There are also infrastructure needs that must be met, he said.
He added that he did not think people would “mind too much (if taxes went up) if they see we’re fixing the infrastructure.”
Councilmember Dan Eggler pointed out that “if we want to fix stuff we have to put people in the streets.” There is also the question of adding an additional full-time police officer.
McKern said personnel issues would be addressed in a closed session later in the meeting.
Acting on the report from the Planning Commission, the council approved the conditional use permit for the South Fork Planned Unit Development as well as the development agreement and the final plat.
They also discussed a Park board recommendation to demolish the stone wall at the Veterans Memorial Park.
Eggler said the wall is falling apart and some view it as unsafe so the board was recommending it be taken down.
The cost to fix the wall, he said, was estimated at $229,000.
“I agree if it comes to spending city money to fix it, it’s not in the budget,” said McKern.
Council members agreed that if private donors wanted to raise the funds to fix the wall they would be open to that idea.
Eggler said estimates were that it would take 45 days to fix the wall. The council said the wall needs to be fixed or demolished by the time the pool opens next summer and set April 1 as the time the funds needed to fix the wall are obtained.
The city engineer also gave some preliminary figures for several water main projects:
Sixth Street SW, west of 3rd Avenue would cost an estimated $300,000 to $350,000.
The fairgrounds water tower water main extension from $190,000 to $220,000.
Water main loop across Don Marti’s property from $170,000 to $200,000.
The total of all three projects would be between $550,000 and $770,000.
No action was taken.
In personnel items, the council accepted the resignations of Steve Jurrens and Chris Meyers from the Kasson Fire Department. Both men are retiring.
They also accepted the resignation of Zac Plein as a part-time officer with the Police Department. He has accepted a position as a full-time officer with the Owatonna Police Department.