NEW ULM - The New Ulm City Council will meet today at 5 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
The Council will consider options to fix or to sell the Marktplatz Mall sign in the City Hall parking lot.
The City took ownership of the sign after a lease ended without renewal and because utilities were not paid for years. The sign needs repair.
The options are: leave the broken sign unused, remove the sign to add a parking space, sell the sign to a business or have the City repair and use the sign.
An unnamed downtown business has already contacted the City about purchasing the sign, leasing rights to the City space it occupies and covering the upgrades. This agreement would also allow the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce to have access to 25 percent of the sign's advertising time.
The cost of removing the sign is estimated at $10,000 and the cost repairing the sign is estimated at $50,000 to $80,000.
In other business, the Council will consider a request by the New Ulm Sister Cities Commission to rename North German Park, which runs from the Community Center to 7th North Street, to "Hans Joohs Park." The request is sought to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hans Joohs Exchange Program.
The New Ulm Rotary Club, which has previously "adopted" the park and paid for improvements to it, has not opposed changing the name. The Commission also indicated it may fund a historical marker or informational kiosk about the Hans Joohs program in the park.
Also, the Council will consider a request for cigarette license by Marshall's Tobacco, which would operate under the name New Ulm Smoke Shop in the former New Ulm Smokes 4 Less store on Westridge Road near Walmart.
The Marshall's Tobacco business is run by Kamal Kehelaouinet, of Marshall, who entered an Alford Plea for charges of selling synthetic cannabinoid on Dec. 18, 2012. An Alford Plea maintains the defendant is innocent, but acknowledges there is enough evidence to lead to a conviction.
The request asked for an up or down vote ahead of potential remodeling of the store.