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Sign of the tough economic times

It's a sign of the economic times, as nearly 75 applications were submitted for one New York Mills city public works position.

The deadline for applications was last week. The position was one formerly held by Al Holtberg, who retired from the city public works department.

In selecting a candidate from the stack of applications, the council members and city officials will "score" each application. The process is modeled after League of Minnesota Cities recommendations in hiring personnel, noted City Clerk Darla Berry.

The Veterans Preference Act, and how it figures into hiring public employees, was explained by Berry. If a veteran completes the necessary paperwork, it is worth five points. If a disabled veteran is an applicant, it adds ten points.

The list of applicants will be narrowed to finalists by Feb. 22, and interviews will be scheduled the first week in March, said Berry.

Brasel re-joins NYMFD

A familiar face will be returning to the New York Mills Fire Department.

Former volunteer firefighter Ryan Brasel completed the skills tests, interview and other requirements to return to the department, wrote Fire Chief Reed Jacobson to the New York Mills City Council, in his recommendation to reinstate Brasel.

Since he has past experience, Brasel is a welcome addition to the department. He has already undergone most of the necessary training.

City liquor store sales down in January

Municipal liquor store sales were down by $7,000, compared to January of last year, reported store manager Kim Hoban. But on the good news side, even though the sales were down, the store showed a modest profit in January, said Hoban.

Historically, January and February have been very slow months at the store. But Hoban stated in her report that she is "optimistic that this will be a good year."

Further, with the Lund Boat workforce expanding, she believes it will boost business.

City purchases truck for $15,000

The city purchased a 2006 half-ton pick-up truck for the gas department. The 2006 Chevy has 48,000 miles, and was purchased for $15,000 through Vaughn Auto and Marine.

Fair wins city donation

The East Otter Tail County Fair will be celebrating its 100th year this summer.

The council learned about the centennial in a letter from the fair board, with the annual request for a donation from the city. The council voted to donate $1,000 to the fair.

Ballroom may host

Irish St. Patrick's event

A St. Patrick's event in the heart of St. Urho Finnish country?

Irish melodies could fill the city ballroom, if the city and the NYM Regional Cultural Center are successful in receiving a $3,000 grant.

Organizers are aiming at March 17, St. Patty's Day, for the ballroom event.

"Well, just so it doesn't interfere with St. Urho Day," laughed Mayor Hodgson, referring to the legendary St. Urho of Finnish tradition-which is observed March 16.

The application was prepared by the cultural center, but under the grant program, the city would be the eligible recipient, so the application required council approval, explained City Clerk Darla Berry.