Council to OK Dalton appointment

By Clay Schuldt

Staff Writer

NEW ULM — The New Ulm City Council is expected to formally appoint Christopher Dalton city manager, Tuesday.

The personnel committee is recommending Dalton’s appointment effective April 17. The position comes with an initial compensation at the second-year rate of $114,192 and after six months results in an adjustment to the third-year rate of $118,747.20.

Dalton was originally hired as the assistant city manager in April 2018, but was made acting city manager after former city manager Brian Gramentz left the position in November 2018. The council selected Dalton as their top choice for city manager during the previous council meeting.

The city will now begin advertising to hire an assistant city manager.

The council will consider a new splashpad installation in Harman Park. The park and recreation commission recommended the installation on April 8. The council authorized accepting the donation of the splashpad last November. The donation came from Barbara Haroldson and is valued at $115,000.

The splashpad is an aquatic play feature with no standing water or water depth, meaning no lifeguard is needed. Currently, New Ulm does not have a splashpad. The parks commission chose to locate it at Harman Park due to the proximity of bathrooms and the utility costs would be lower than at other locations.

The Recreation Center boiler system is recommended for replacement. The council will vote on whether to approve plans and specifications and order advertisements for bids for the project. The project is budgeted for $995,000. The engineer’s estimate comes in lower at $753,186.52.

The Recreation Center has two original boilers that are approximately 40 years old, which is beyond the manufacturer’s estimated life span. The new boiler system will be modular and is expected to be more efficient.

The council will consider authorizing a lease agreement with the Brown County Historical Society (BCHS) to operate historical programming in Kiesling House and Park.

Kathleen Backer has been leasing the Kiesling House and providing the public weekend historical programming at the site for the past three summers. She has given a written notice of lease termination. The BCHS Board of Directors desire a lease with the city to take over programming.