WC city administrator resigns; council approves softball field upgrades
The West Council City Council accepted the resignation of City Manager Jake Dickson at last week’s regular monthly meeting.
Dickson said he had notified the city of his plans to resign earlier in the month and that his last day in West Concord will be Aug. 30. He indicated only that he would be going to the Twin Cities.
Dickson. He has been the city manager in West Concord since May of 2018.
Mayor Jeffrey McCool said that the city was sorry to receive the resignation. Their was no immediate discussion by the council on plans for seeking a person to fill the position.
Tom Bond and Chris Pluto of Venom Softball and Triton Activities Director Shane Van Beek also appeared before the council to discuss lights at the West Concord softball field.
Bond explained that the girls softball program has grown from 10 participants when it was started seven years ago to the current 75 girls participating.
Venom softball has worked at upgrading the field, he said. The current lights did not work at the recent charity softball game played at Survival Days and the group has always thought that upgrading the lights would be the next project.
Venom Softball would like to replace the lights, he said, and the group had received a quote of about $20,000 which included “a lot of donated labor.”
Van Beek told the council that he would like for Triton’s varsity softball team to play some of their home games at the West Concord field. This past spring, he said, a Triton Middle School game was played on the field.
One game that he would like played at West Concord, he said, would be the Triton-Kenyon-Wanamingo game to get a rivalry between two nearby towns going.
What he would like, Van Beek said, is to play three or four of Triton’s home varsity games in West Concord.
Bond said that any work on the lighting would need to be done by the end of March to be ready for the 2020 season.
While the Venom group did not ask for a specific amount of city help council members were in favor of the project.
“I like it,” McCool said, “bringing life back to the to the city.”
McCool pointed out that through Venom’s work the city had basically gotten a new softball field.
Other council members agreed and the council voted to approve up to $25,000 to get the lights installed during 2019.
In return, Van Beek said the school district would commit to playing at least 50% of the varsity home softball games in West Concord.
In other actions, the council approved an agreement with Stantec for the firm to proceed with the engineering work needed for the 2020 Utility Improvement project. They also approved a new contract with PeopleService for the operation and maintenance of the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The contract was approved with the change from a five-year contract to a three-year contract.
They also approved an agreement with Burkhardt and Burkhardt for bookkeeping services estimated at 10 to 12 billable hours per month and also for a six-month comprehensive report of liquor store operations.
Sharon Dahms was also appointed to the Library Board replacing Nancy Schollmeier who was recently appointed library director.
In her library report, Schollmeier reported that the library was recently given 30 children’s books by Gary and Patty Braeger in memory of their grandson, Miles Nelson.
The library will also be having a program by Wonder Weavers, a SELCO vetted program, at the Aug. 27 story time. The program will include storytelling with puppets, props, songs and a craft. The program is funded through the Legacy program and will take the place of Climb Theatre which did not show for a performance during Survival Days.