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Emmetsburg City Council Moves Forward

By Staff | Oct 2, 2008

Emmetsburg Mayor John Schad opened the special meeting of Emmetsburg City Council with the intent to “move ahead with the best interest of the city in mind.” He made reference to The Reporter editorial and asked the council to work together as they move forward.

Council members acted on four items of new business before an audience of about 20 people. On the agenda were items to establish the position of golf course superintendent, fill the superintendent’s position, and set a salary. Also on the agenda was awarding the contract for the Emmetsburg airport terminal project.

All members of Emmetsburg City Council voted to approve resolution 08-31 to establish the position of golf course superintendent.

The interim golf board met early Tuesday morning and again brought their recommendation to the council to hire Mike Knight as golf course superintendent.

Council representative Pam Smith expressed concern on the timing of hiring a golf course superintendent this late in the year. She gave credit to the interim golf board for their hard work. Smith expressed reservations, wondering if the council has gotten ahead of itself to keep the golf course open during the winter months.

Mayor Schad noted that the course would be open through early fall, anyway.

“I don’t know if we’ve addressed a date we’re going to actually shut down the course,” said Councilman Steve Finer, chairman of the interim golf board. “I think there is another golf outing, a three man best shot, planned for October.”

Mayor Schad told the council and audience that he is 100-percent in favor of industrial growth and a golf course will help that growth. However, he expressed serious doubts about purchasing and operating the golf course with people being laid off, higher unemployment and people losing business.

The motion to hire Mike Knight as golf course superintendent was approved, with all council members voting yes.

All members of Emmetsburg City Council voted to approve resolution 08-32 to establish the compensation for the golf course superintendent position. The wage was set at $35,000 a year.

Council representative Sandy Pelzer expressed the concern that the council was setting a precedent starting someone at thatwage. She asked if this was in line with other city positions.

“Every job is unique to itself,” said Councilman Brian Campbell. “We’re not comparing apples to apples.”

Councilman Pat Degen added, “This is competitive with other communities with similar positions.”

City Administrator John Bird said he had researched the wage for superintendents of golf courses this size and this wage is on the low side. “I was on the golf board to hire a superintendent and it took $32,000 to get Mike Knight to come here in 2004.”

Airport Project

“We’ve finally got the job done right with the airport terminal,” said Mayor Schad.

The mayor reported two critical meetings, one with the casino non-profit board and another with the airport commission. He noted that in-kind donations for the project will not be considered to be adding to the cost of the project, according to the non-profit board. He added that the airport commission worked with the sole bidder, Corey Gramowski of Gramowski Construction, to re-assess the airport terminal project. Total cost of the project is $93,598, which falls within the guidelines for grant funds from Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation.

In reaching the reduced total, in-kind donations include dirt work and equipment provided by Palo Alto County, cabinets moved from the current airport facility to the new terminal, lumber being provided at cost by two Emmetsburg businesses, and electrical was taken out. A safe room, which is a storm shelter, was added back into the project. Electrical will also be added back into the project.

Emmetsburg City Council voted to approve resolution 08-33 to award the contract for the Emmetsburg Airport Terminal Project. All council members voted yes, with Councilman Gramowski abstaining.