Upsala citizens voice frozen pipe woes

by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer

The Upsala City Council heard citizens’ concerns over frozen water lines, Monday.

“We’re wondering what you’re going to do for us,” said Mary Jane Chuba.

Council Member Dennis Westrich had helped a number of city residents clear water lines. Some were frozen in the street, some closer to residences.

“If it hadn’t been for Dennis, I don’t know what we would have done,” said Chuba.

Experiences with frozen pipes were varied.

“Joyce was gone a whole week and her water didn’t freeze up,” said Christine Wuebkers, whose line froze.

The Council discussed how to adjust water billing to mitigate the effects of leaving water running to prevent frozen lines.

“This is something new to us; I don’t believe we’ve ever had this issue before. We don’t know how many people are leaving the water run so things don’t freeze up,” said Mayor Rollie Johnson. “Anyone doing that should contact the city clerk so we can adjust for that.”

“Residents should monitor the temperature of their water,” Westrich said. “It the water is 40 degrees and above, they don’t have to run it. If it’s under that, they should let the water run.

When speculating on how long to keep running water, Chuba said, “not until there’s green grass!”

“We will work this out; we will make it right,” said Johnson.

The Planning Committee and the Council will be discussing at a future meeting whether to adjust sewer bills during the summer months when residents are watering lawns.

Upsala City Council Briefs

Other business that came before the Upsala City Council Monday included:

• Hearing that Marlene Soltis is offering 17.95 acres at the southwest corner of the city for sale to the city for $5,500 per acre ($98,725), offering to let the city make five annual payments with no interest. The county has valued that parcel of land at $63,100;

• Approving a resolution for the sale of $320,000 in general obligation utility revenue refunding bonds. “(Our financial adviser) David Drown did the work on this,” said Mayor Rollie Johnson. “It will save the city $16,000 per year;”

• Approving a lease renewal for Toning Plus at $200 per month;

• Approving a lease renewal for the Community Center at zero dollars. “They pay the utilities,” Johnson said;

• Approving the annual grant program by Morrison County for the annual Clean-Up Day and Recycling Program, set for June 7;

• Approving the posting of the city’s clerk-treasurer position now that interim clerk-treasurer Reva Mische’s internship time is nearly over;

• Offering congratulations to Upsala wrestler Mitch Lange for his Class A 160-pound championship title; and

• Approving exempt permits for St. Mary’s Church to hold ham bingo April 6 and turkey bingo Oct. 26.

The next Upsala City Council meeting will be Monday, April 7, at 7 p.m. at City Hall.