Fire whistle may bow out

A New Ulm tradition-blowing the fire whistle to tell volunteer firemen where the fire is will probably end when individual paging units bought Tuesday by the City Council arrive.

The 36 portable pocket receivers will be capable of receiving voice messages from the transmitter which will be installed in the police department. The receivers are effective within a 15-mile radius of the transmitter.

Presently when a fire is reported the police dispatcher takes the call and the message goes out through a series of phone calls plus the whistle. The phone calls will continue but the pages will be relied on more than the whistle.

City Manager Richard Salvati told the Journal the firemen don’t always hear the whistle if they are inside a building and the paging devices are more “expeditious”. He also noted that the fire whistle attracts so many spectators it can makes things more difficult for the firefighters.

Cost of the units and transmitter will be $9,050, about $1,000 more than had been anticipated in the budget. Salvati recommended the units as necessary and said the price was competitive in view of the other three bids which were $900 to $2,500 higher than the low bid.

Low bid was on Motorola units and was submitted by Dick Zaayer of Mankato. The bid includes a two-year warranty.

In other business the council voted to ask the U. S. Commissioner of Customs to waive the 4312 per cent import duty on the Tyrollean jackets and vests ordered from Innsbruck, Austria, by the New Ulm Concord Singers.

The council had agreed last summer to pay $1,500 towards the cost, with the Singers paying about the same amount. No one knew then there would be large import duty charges.

Salvati said the duty might be waived since the Singers are a non-profit group and suggested the council pass a resolution asking this.


COUNCIL HEARD a report from Salvati on replacing the recently burned out Community Arts Center. He said an at-tractive one-story 40 x 100 foot wood building on slab foundation, possibly using the present slab, could be built for a cost he estimated very roughly at $90,000 including architect fee, furnishings and contingency costs.

The present building is 35 65 so a 40x100building would have 75 per cent more space. An architect must be retained if such a building is to be erected.

Salvati noted that financing is the main question in such replacement since the city is on the verge of letting contracts for a $1-million library project and also is in the midst of planning airport expansion.

Council directed Salvati to meet with representatives of the Golden Age Club and other interested groups to get their reactions on what kinds of facilities they want. It was noted the Golden Age Club has indicated interest in the proposed multi-purpose recreation center.

Salvati said four teachers had agreed to pay the city $306 for salvage rights to the burned-out building and will start demolition this weekend.


COUNCILMAN William Gafford and Waldemar Huevelmann were appointed along with Salvati to meet with two members of the volunteer fire department to discuss space needs of the fire department.

Fire Chief L. E. Lowinske told the council that crowded,congested conditions have developed in the fire department with new, bulkier equipment on hand. He noted to get the rescue truck out Tuesday night another truck had to be moved. Also the department will be getting another tanker for the rural fire department and will need storage space. No specific proposals were presented by Lowinske.

Salvati informed the council the No. 4generator at the power plant is now back in operation at its upgraded level after being out of operation several months due to burned out wiring last summer.

Council granted two cab licenses to Howard Flatau. Flatau had requested three licenses but had supplied the necessary inspection certificates on only two of the cabs.

His rate schedule was approved, with councilmen noting it was different from the schedule of City Cab. Flatau’s rates are 85 cents for the first mile and 20 cents for each additional six blocks or less. City Cab charge is 75 cents for the first half-mile,10 cents for each additional quarter-mile.

Council authorized preparing specs and advertising for bids on 40,000 gallons of asphalt for the 1974 seal coating program and a 1975 pumper truck for the fire department.

The asphalt is expected to come in at a price twice what was paid last year. Because of this the quantity ordered last year, 66,000 gallons for work on 120 blocks of street, was cut down, and the 44,000 gallons to be ordered will be used for 70-75blocks of work.

The pumper, a 1,000 or 1,250 gallons per minute pumper which is expected to cost about $45,000, will replace a 1955 750-gallons-per-minute pumper. Council has been appropriating $5,000 a year into a sinking fund to build up funds for the pumper. Delivery will be in 1975.

Councilman John Mowan asked Salvati to have sidewalks along a stretch of First S. inspected. Mowan said a number of people had talked to him about the sidewalk conditions.

A Safety Council recommendation to eliminate two parking stalls o the north side of Center east of State to improve traffic visibility was approved.

Salvati was directed to get costs on placing boulevard trees on 10th S. between Broadway and Payne. Trees from Payne to Summit were included in the reconstruction contract but no provision was made for the rest of 10th S. Trees along 10th S. were removed after easement was secured for very economical or no compensation, Salvati said.

New Ulm Daily Journal

April 3, 1974


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