City buys land to help DLC

NEW ULM — The New Ulm City Council executed an agreement with the New Ulm Economic Development Corporation (NUEDC) for a lot purchase in the Airport Industrial Park, to sell to DLC Manufacturing and Fabrication.

DLC has outgrown its facility at 1510 S. Minnesota St. They are looking to relocate and construct up to a 36,000-square-foot building in the industrial park. The cost of acquiring the lot from NUEDC is $125,000. The funds will come from the City’s revolving loan fund.

After purchasing, the city will sell it to DLC for $1. After the establishment of tax abatements, a repayment of $8,000 per year will be made by DLC to the city.

The project will allow DLC to grow their new business in New Ulm and hire additional employees.

Fence approved

A permit for a special purpose fence requested by Beth and Jason Vavra was approved by the council. The council previously tabled the issue July 3 to allow building official Elwood Zabel to attend the meeting.

The Vavras constructed a 6-foot fence in the front and side yard area of their property after securing a fence permit, but installed it prior to on-site review by Zabel. The maximum permitted height of the fence in the front yard area is 4 feet. A taller fence requires a permit.

Zabel said the error in granting the permit was likely made because the house is set back differently from other properties. Only 21 feet of the fence are out of compliance with city code.

Councilor David Christian opposed the permit because it should have been signed off by Zabel before construction and city code states that if a permit is issued in error the building inspector can pull the permit.

The planning commission approved the permit because the additional height will provide privacy and safety for the family and the fence looks aesthetically pleasing.

The council approved it by a 4-to-1 vote, with Christian voting against.

Kato Cab comes

to New Ulm

The city reached out to Kato Cab to determine if they wished to bring their service to New Ulm. Assistant City Manager Chris Dalton said the request was made following the loss of New Ulm Taxi.

Dalton said a type of taxi service was needed to help people get to medical appointments or return home after being discharged from the hospital.

Dalton said city officials spoke to Kato Cab Monday morning and by the same afternoon Kato Cab obtained the proper license to operate in New Ulm, paying the necessary fees for four taxis. The cab company managers were willing to work in New Ulm as soon as the council approved the license. The license was approved unanimously.

Kato Cab will be available to work by Bavarian Blast. The cab company has shuttle visitors to New Ulm from Mankato for other festivals such as Bock Fest.

New lease with New Ulm Steel approved

The council authorized signing a new lease with the New Ulm Steel Jr. Hockey Team. The new lease includes the construction of an office expansion and the installation of three new team room connecting doors at the Civic Center. The office expansion will cost the city approximately $8,000 and the doors are estimated at $13,160.

Councilor Les Schultz said the contract keeps the team in New Ulm and the city benefits from the revenue brought in.

Trail acquisition

City staff requested a resolution to acquire a recreation trail and utility easement from Prairie Land Development at 1318 Birchwood Dr., to connect the south side of the bike/pedestrian trail underpass of U.S. Highway 14. This connection would permit a safer crossing of Highway 14 and could be integrated into the city’s trail system. The council unanimously approved the resolution.

Parking on Payne

The council approved a recommendation from the Safety Commission to add parking on the east side of Payne Street between 2nd and 3rd South Streets. The homeowners on South Payne are unable to park in front of their homes on school days preventing access to their service walk.

The council had no issue with this request and unanimously approved it.

City Council compensation

Councilor Les Schultz requested the council consider adjusting the compensation for the mayor and council by including a stipend or per diem amount for half and full day events or functions that require the city council be in attendance.

Schultz said it had been five years since compensation was reviewed. Since the council only looks at this every five years, attempts to bring the compensation up speed with other cities seem like large increases, which upsets the tax payers.

Schultz wanted a system in which the council could review compensation on a more regular schedule to prevent large bulk increases.

No official change was made, but the council asked the staff to update the current compensation.

No matter how often the council votes to change compensation, any changes must be approved before the general election and go into effect after the election.

Bench relocation

The council approved the relocation of existing sidewalk benches and the installation of three tables in the downtown area. The three new tables would be placed in front of Antiques Plus, the new Minnesota Street Apartments and the Guten Tag Haus. No additional benches would be purchased. Three under-utilized benches would be relocated to these locations.


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