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Minnesota National Guard
Stillwater to become Yellow Ribbon city

by Loretta Harding
Contributing Writer
St Croix Valley Press

STILLWATER - At its Oct 20 meeting, the Stillwater City Council unanimously voted to become a Yellow Ribbon city

By passing Resolution 2009-173, the council issued its statement of support for members of the Minnesota National Guard and Reserve and families The resolution is necessary for Stillwater to become a Yellow Ribbon community that complies with state laws about employees on leave for duties with the National Guard

The Yellow Ribbon Network of Washington County was organized earlier this year in response to the deployment of more than 150 Washington County residents with the Red Bull Infantry Division The mission of the network is to promote community awareness of the need to support military families during a deployment and engage in reintegration efforts when the troops return home

Washington County was the first county in Minnesota to be named as a Yellow Ribbon county, and Stillwater would like to be the first among cities to show its support

But their support doesn't end at passing a resolution "We will finalize a community action plan to make sure the program is self-sustaining," said Councilman Mike Polehna, chairman of the Yellow Ribbon commission

The governor wants the committee to remain stable throughout changes in council members and volunteers, said Mayor Ken Harycki

Being a Yellow Ribbon city means that Stillwater will stay active in support of National Guard members and their families by making sure the spouse or parent left behind can keep functioning, Polehna said Volunteers will be lined up to help rake, shovel, repair and winterize homes The commission also plans a welcome for veterans as they return from Iraq, he said

The next community event, as part of the Veteran's Day observance, will take place Nov 8 at Trinity Church in the form of a live broadcast from Iraq The exact time will be announced later, Polehna said

Polehna also said the committee would submit a monthly one-line staff report on the city council regular meeting agenda

More information about the Yellow Ribbon Network can be found through council members or at the Stillwater website

In other actions, the council:

"¢Heard a report from Assistant Fire Chief Tom Ballis on activities during October's Fire Prevention Month

"¢Adopted by a vote of 3-1 (Cook opposed) the Parking Commission's recommended fees for the new parking garage adjacent to the Lowell Inn with rates to be evaluated after six months The council learned from Community Development Director Bill Turnblad that construction for the new ramp is running $16,000 in the black and one week behind due to early snow

"¢Heard a report from Turnblad that he expects revisions to the Compreh-ensive Plan to be resubmitted by late October and accepted by the Metropolitan Council by the beginning of next year

"¢Heard an update on the sinking Cayuga from City Administrator Larry Hansen The city is looking at contractors to take care of the boat before winter arrives

"¢Issued a wine and strong beer liquor license to Oliver & Louis, Inc, DBA: The Bikery, located at 904 Fourth St

"¢Approved a resolution to remove stop signs at the railroad crossing on Hazel Street

"¢Approved the purchase of a backup solution for the city network and a firewall for the St Croix Valley Recreation Center

"¢Unanimously approved funds to repair the railings for the Willard Street stairs Last February, the council budgeted $15,000 for repairs The concrete rehabilitation work was completed for $3,800, and now the railing on the south side of the stairs will cost $1,000 to repair

"¢Ordered a preparation of the feasibility report for the 2010 Street Improvements

"¢Approved by a vote of 3-1 (Polehna opposed) the contract for SafeAssure to provide safety training and funds of up to $3,000 for work to prepare the Public Works facility for training

"¢Tabled the Heritage Preservation Commission Request that the city undertake active inspection and enforcement in the downtown area instead of enforcing laws by complaint

"¢Unanimously approved a $4,795 grant application to restore the Hersey Bean Wall through the state's Legacy Grant

"¢Unanimously approved the St Croix Valley Recreation Center and Lily Lake Management agreement

"¢Unanimously approved the reappointments of Richard Edstrom, Ned Gordon and Jane Dickinson to the Library's Board of Trustees Their new terms will begin January 2010

"¢Approved an agreement for bulk fuel purchase through a fuel consortium program at a fixed rate for 2010 The city has calculated a cost savings of approximately $2,000 per year by purchasing 50 percent of its yearly fuel supply through the consortium and another 50 percent of its fuel needs on a daily basis when market prices are advantageous

"¢Unanimously approved the Traffic Committee recommendation not to install a crosswalk at Northwestern and Curve Crest

The council next meets at 7 pm, Tuesday, Nov 3 at City Hall

Article source: www.PressPubs.com

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