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Perham City Council approves submission of grants

At a special meeting on Nov. 23, the Perham City Council approved two grant applications to be submitted in the coming weeks.

The first grant, which was also discussed at the last regular city council meeting, is for a Highway 10 and Highway 34 interchange as well as improvements and signal lights to Highways 80 and 34.

City Manager Kelsey Klemm said that the total cost of the project was around $4,459,000, and that the city of Perham would have to contribute around $60,000.

The second grant discussed was to replace a fuel pump at the Perham airport. The costs of replacing the pump will be split between the city and Minnesota Department of Transportation Office of Aeronautics.

Resolutions to submit the grants passed unanimously.

The council needed a special meeting to submit the grants because the deadline for the grant application fell before the next regular council meeting on Dec. 13.

Committee of the Whole

At a meeting of the Committee of the Whole (COW) immediately following the special council meeting, the COW continued the discussion of potentially closing or improving railroad crossings in the area.

Although the council discussed closing as many as two crossings, Klemm said that the city is not required to close any crossing.

Some council members hope to gain a quiet zone as part of a deal with the BNSF railroad, but council member Harriet Mattfield disagreed.

"This quiet zone is for the birds," she said, explaining that she has lived near the railroad for years and is used to the noise.

All council members agreed that no action should be taken until the Perham community has a chance to discuss the issue.

Klemm mentioned a questionnaire that will be passed out to citizens to find out what the city thinks.

"We need to find out what the taxpayers in Perham want," Councilman James Johnson said.

The next step, Mayor Tim Meehl said, is to have a meeting with the Perham Township, and then hold public meetings with Perham citizens.