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Odor, police complaints fielded by city council

Two complaints were fielded by the Perham City Council at the June 12 meeting. One was a familiar complaint: The strong odor emanating from the Bongaard's cheese and whey plant. A Perham resident said it has been "offensive all spring." City mana...

Two complaints were fielded by the Perham City Council at the June 12 meeting.

One was a familiar complaint: The strong odor emanating from the Bongaard's cheese and whey plant.

A Perham resident said it has been "offensive all spring."

City manager Bob Louiseau acknowledged that he has received "quite a number of complaints" over the past two months. But he also explained that Bongaard's operates its own treatment lagoon--located outside city limits. The plant's permit is actually governed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, so the city really has little direct authority over Bongaard's wastewater treatment.

Perham public works director Merle Meece said he would contact Bongaard's management and follow up on the concerns.

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The second complaint came from an individual who said he was treated poorly by a Perham police officer when he asked for money from the "Ministerial Fund."

The fund, sometimes known as a "Good Samaritan Fund," are established for police in many communities--usually through donations from churches. The fund is tapped if there is somebody stranded without money and needs bus fare, or other short term cash needs.

"Nobody should be looked down on because they need a little help," said the man at the June 12 council session.

Police Chief Brian Nelson responded that the Ministerial Fund is not intended as a fund for one person or family to tap into on a repeated basis--which was apparently the case here.

"There's not a lot of money in the fund. It is really a one-time emergency fund," said Nelson.

As far as the complaint over treatment by one of the officers, Chief Nelson said he would look into it.

Surface requested for Miller Park

A request to blacktop the entrance to Paul Miller Park was brought to the council for the second year.

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Jill Shipman, director of Kinship, hosts the annual "Average Joe Triathlon" as a fundraiser.

For the bicycle portion of the event, the hill leading toward the Miller Park entrance is hazardous for the cyclists--as they negotiate a sharp turn from the blacktop road to gravel entrance.

Shipman offered to contribute at least $500 a year toward the project, from Kinship proceeds.

Councilman Jerome Boedigheimer said that blacktop at the park entrance would be an asset for the park--with or without the triathlon.

Shipman said that 200 participants are planned for the upcoming July 1 event.

Blacktop near Ma's Barn discussed

In other discussion at the June 12 council meeting, Barb Lenius asked the council when the parking and street behind her building would be surfaced. She is the owner of Ma's Little Red Barn.

The city had been planning the improvement when the 2nd Street project begins--but it was tabled a few years ago. The council will be reviewing street projects in the coming months, as work begins on the city's 2007 budget.

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