Parking issues on Main Street raised | News, Sports, Jobs


Blue Earth Town staff stepped in to answer questions from residents and council members at a meeting held on Monday, June 6.

The first inquiry of the evening was addressed by City Engineer Wes Brown.

Several Main Street business owners have expressed concerns about the lack of parking along the block between Seventh and Eighth Streets.

Michele Hard, owner of Michele’s Quilting and Sewing Center, urged council to consider adjusting parking spaces on the west side of the block for corner parking.

“Even if we only did one slanted side, it would free things up a bit more for our customers, Hard said.

Brown responded that Main Street, which is a county highway, must follow state regulations. Currently, restrictions deem the road too narrow to accommodate corner parking spaces.

“At this point, without some kind of variance process across the state, which I don’t think the county would support, I don’t think it can be done,” said Brown.

Marie Northwick, owner of Headlines Plus, asked if the council had any other options for parking along the popular block.

“We hate to discourage customers, and many won’t park because it’s parallel parking,” said Northwick. “It’s just bad, and it’s never been resolved.”

Mayor Rick Scholtes responded that the city would keep the matter under review going forward.

Another inquiry was addressed by City Attorney David Frundt.

Due to recent confusion regarding the relationship between the library board and the city, Frundt clarified that the library board is designated as a statutory board in accordance with the Blue Earth City charter.

If the library board were designated as an advisory board, it would cede more powers to the city than it currently does as a statutory board.

Frundt informed the board of the possibility of changing the status of the library board.

“Staff had the opportunity to take a look at other cities that have library boards with charters, especially Austin,”Frundt said.

He explained if the board was interested in changing the charter and, by extension, the library board’s status as a statutory board, he and city administrator Mary Kennedy could study the Austin charter as a basis for Develop a proposal to bring to the Blue Earth Charter Commission. .

The board expressed no objection to Frundt’s suggestion.

“I think it would be worth looking into”Scholes replied

Next, Brown was at bat again, this time to brief the board on the structural integrity of the Veterans’ Baseball Field dugouts.

Brown reported that a structural engineer examined the dugouts and saw no imminent risk of them collapsing.

“There are cracks in the joints, but the blocks haven’t really misaligned,”Brown explained.

He added that aesthetic fixes could be implemented to improve the appearance of the dugouts at this time.

In other matters, the Blue Earth City Council:

• Realization of a first reading of an ordinance modifying the regulation of urban hens.

The proposed amendment would allow council to issue a residential poultry license in the event that a resident’s neighbors refuse to offer their consent.

The council has scheduled a public hearing for the amended order at its next meeting, which will be held on June 21.

• Approved a proposal for impound services from the Faribault County Humane Society (FCHS), subject to a new agreement being drafted once FCHS has moved to its new building and finalized any changes to its budget and fees.

• Approval of an agreement between Blue Earth resident Jim Pollard and the City of Blue Earth for the display of fossils and artifacts in the Blue Earth Community Library and Fossil Discovery Center.

• Consultation with Dave Olson, Manager of Blue Earth Wine & Spirits, regarding proposed improvements to store checkouts.

Olson presented two design options for the board’s consideration. One option offers two separate checkout counters, while the other offers two checkout stations located along one continuous counter.

The board asked Olson to compete the two options and bring back the estimates for the board’s review.

• Passed a resolution to issue and sell $5,015,000 of General Bonds to Northland Securities at a rate of 3.13%.

Proceeds from the bonds will be used to fund various street improvement projects and utility projects.

• Approved an agreement designating a payment of $1,500 to the Blue Earth Area Baseball Association to be used for maintenance of the baseball diamonds during the summer.

• Heard an update from Kennedy about the Blue Earth Fire Department’s search for a new fire truck.

She shared that the search has been difficult, but the department is interested in a 2023 Pierce Contender Maxi Metal 3,600 gallon tank truck from MacQueen Emergency.

The department is awaiting a more accurate price estimate, but the current estimate is $425,000.