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Warmka appointed to City Council

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Eric Warmka was appointed as Ward 2 city councilor. He will complete the remaining term of former councilor Lisa Fischer.

NEW ULM — Eric Warmka is New Ulm’s new Ward 2 city councilor. He was unanimously appointed to the position by the City Council during their regular meeting Tuesday.

Warmka was appointed to complete the remaining two years of former Ward 2 councilor Lisa Fischer who resigned Oct. 7. After her resignation, the council advertised for applicants to fill the vacant seat. Four applicants were interviewed Tuesday afternoon before the regular council meeting. In addition to Warmka, applicants included Marinda Kimmel, Rick Traulich and Terry Sveine.

Council President Charlie Schmitz said all the candidates were outstanding and the council was pleased to have this many volunteers. Ultimately the council was in unanimous agreement that Warmka was the best choice to fill Fischer’s seat on the council.

Councilor Les Schultz said all four candidates had unique approaches and a passion for the city. “I think Eric brought some real enthusiasm and excitement to the position and that can be a benefit to all of us as we move forward.”

Warmka is originally from Wells and attended school in St. Cloud. He received a mortuary science degree and human resources degree. He and his wife Sarah moved to New Ulm eight years ago after visiting the town as tourists. Warmka worked at Minnesota Valley Funeral Home as a director and later took over as general manager.

During the interview, Warmka said he had a unique background in that Minnesota Valley Funeral Home is community-owned and community-run. This requires him to run annual meetings and meet with people on a regular basis on how to operate the funeral home. Warmka said it was a process he enjoyed.

Warmka said he applied for the council seat because it was his goal to be involved in the community. He believes this is something he could do to give back.

Warmka will take the oath of office and officially join the council during the next regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

The council approved a request from Alan Holm and Linda and Bob Mertz to use the unimproved portion of Oak Street abutting their properties.

An unimproved portion of Oak Street is platted to the south of the Holm property and north of the Mertz property.

Oak Street has been improved from Garden Street to North Highland Avenue, but there is an unimproved portion of Oak Street connecting to Raymond Drive.

The City Engineering Department would like to continue to maintain ownership of the right of way for future use for locating utilities and supports a license agreement with the two property owners. It has no plans for the right of way at this time.

Each property owner is requesting the use of a 30-by-120-foot area of the Oak Street right of way adjacent to their properties.

The Holms are proposing to use the property to maintain the right of way adjacent to their property and to locate a playset. Mertz is proposing to use the property to maintain and locate a small storage shed in the right of way.

The city has previously allowed the use of public rights of way for private purposes with a license agreement. The city has received no comments from neighboring properties on this request.

The council approved the final plat of M & D Addition at 323 N. 19th St. The owner is proposing to construct a storage building condominium project. The plat consists of one block with 16 lots. Fifteen of the lots would accommodate owned storage buildings with the 16th lot serving as an open area owned and maintained by the other lot owners.

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