A new water tower is coming to the northern industrial park will improve water pressure and flow deficiencies located in the northwest part of town, and better position the city for future growth.

The City Council on Tuesday approved the contract agreement with Bolton & Menk, Inc. for its professional engineering services in designing the water tower.

While four proposals were received from engineering firms, in the May 28 request to the mayor and City Council, City Administrator Tim Murray wrote “All of the proposals received were well done and all of the firms are well qualified and demonstrated a thorough understanding of the project. In the end, Bolton and Menk’s proposal was the most economical.”

As part of the preliminary engineering report, five sites were evaluated by BMI to recommend the most economical and beneficial site.

The council hopes to have the final design completed by February, award a contract in April and begin construction in June to be operational by July 2021.

An art design contest is being held to help compile creative ideas to possibly inspire the final design.

Participants should use a double-sided water tower coloring page to complete their design. Find it online at bit.ly/2XfHtCf or pick up a copy at the Community Center. A winner will be chosen from each category, and the city will award a single-admission ticket to the Faribault Family Aquatic Center.

Entries are to be turned in by noon Friday, June 14, to the Faribault Parks and Recreation office (Faribault Community Center), 15 W. Division St. The winners will be announced at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at the Central Park Bandshell.

City Council annual financial report

The Faribault City Council is right on budget for the year according to Matt Mayer, audit partner at Bergan KDV.

Bergan KDV is an audit firm selected by the city to provide an opinion on its financial statements.

“The direction the city is going is a good direction,” said Administrator Murray. “It’s a real testimony to the nice job the staff here does managing things.”

Nothing was out of the ordinary in the 2018 report — exactly what the City Council was hoping for.

According to the financial report, the total budget funds increased from the beginning of the 2018 at $23.3 million to $23.9 million at the end of 2018.

Each year, the council hopes its reserves will fall between 35 and 50 percent to create a cushion for next year in the case of emergency fund needs, an stay in line with the state auditor’s recommendations. The report showed a 48 percent fund balance.

The utility funds for water, sewage and storm water are, according to Murray, also in good shape, which is beneficial with the upcoming investments in the water and sewer utilities.

Murray said the long term capital improvement planning is also benefiting the budget as the city has retired debt early and the debt obligations are going down. He said this allows more funding with cash and minimizes future financial burdens.

“The important thing is that we keep track of what we’re doing and not over spending,” said Mayor Kevin Voracek.

City View Park for ARRL Field Day

Faribault City Council has approved the American Radio Relay League Field Day to use the City View Park.

The Riverbend Wireless and Mechanical Society has permission to use the City View Park for the 2019 ARRL Field Day from 10 a.m. on June 22 to 4 p.m. on June 23.

In his letter to the City Council, Dan Kucera wrote “The AARL Field Day is two fun days for amateur ham radio users. The days include a picnic, campout, practice for emergencies and an informal contest.”

Reporter Renata Erickson can be reached at 507-333-3129. Follow her on Twitter @FDNrenata.

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