City council amends Cates Estates project

Moves forward with band shell renovation
by Michael Strasburg

The Sauk Centre City Council voted to take action on two pending city projects when they convened Wednesday, Feb. 1.
First, the city council addressed the water and sewer portion of the Cates Estates Drive improvement project, which will see the completion of the gravel road, Cates Estates Drive, and the extension of utilities. Recently, the city and public utilities department have been in meetings with Steve Klick regarding potential improvements on the former golf course property in town. With those improvements still in the planning stages, it continued to be undetermined where the new water line should be run — east or west of Main Street.
Preliminary plans for the golf course property indicate that the water should cross further to the north, just south of the Indian mounds which are located north of the Fairway Pines Assisted Living property. The original plan for the improvement project calls for a potential crossing at the south end of the city property.
The city council voted Wednesday night to amend their previous resolution and extend the sewer line farther and shorten the water line so that it stops when it reaches Main Street, rather than looping back to Country Club Road.
Band shell project
The Band Shell Improvement Committee, represented by Pam Borgmann, requested that the city formally approve the band shell renovation project, which would authorize Borgmann to submit grant applications.
The city council voted to approve the project, which will clean up and modernize the band shell. The project would include the installation of LED lighting and the painting of a new mural. The city can contribute in-kind contributions, including labor to pressure wash the building and haul away debris, which would strengthen any grant application request. Renovation will not begin until funds have been raised for the project.

Police Department
annual report
Sauk Centre police chief Bryon Friedrichs delivered the department’s 2016 annual report. Noteworthy points were that police calls on alarms, including false alarms, were up to 129, compared to 86 in 2015. Citizen contacts were 429, compared to 155 in 2015. Gas station drive-offs doubled, intoxicated person calls increased and welfare checks increased. Personal assists were up to 205, compared to 128 in 2015. There was an increase in records requests and police following up on open doors in the community.
Vandalism was minimal in 2016.
“That was pretty under control this year, along with the property damage,” Friedrichs said.
DWIs were similar to the previous four years. Seven of the 46 DWIs in 2016 were for drivers under the influence of controlled substances. Possession of drug paraphernalia was up slightly in 2016.
When it came to traffic, speeding violations rose dramatically to 329 in 2016, compared to 188 in 2015.
“We did enforce that much more this year,” Friedrichs said.
As for major crimes, instances of sexual assault and arson were decreased from the previous year, but there was a large increase in assaults and domestic assaults in 2016. Thefts and burglaries were slightly up, while robbery maintained the same rate.
“Still, with those numbers, they [robberies, burglaries and thefts] were very low,” Friedrichs said.
The K-9 deployments saw success this year, obtaining 25,535 grams of marijuana, 962 grams of methamphetamine, 26 grams of hash oil, 5 grams of PCP, 2.6 grams of heroin, 1.1 gram of cocaine, 165 miscellaneous prescription pills and 411 pieces of drug paraphernalia. One traffic stop alone collected 50 pounds of marijuana.
Lastly, the Sauk Centre Police Department retained $5,543 in forfeitures, down from $11,455 in 2015.

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