COOK- Almost a year after the Zup’s Grocery was destroyed by an overnight fire, the Cook City Council, at their Sept. 26 meeting, heard that work on the reconstruction will be underway soon. JPJ …
COOK- Almost a year after the Zup’s Grocery was destroyed by an overnight fire, the Cook City Council, at their Sept. 26 meeting, heard that work on the reconstruction will be underway soon. JPJ Engineering’s John Jamnick told the council that a development agreement has been worked out between the city and Zup’s, marking a major milestone toward returning a full-service grocery to the community.
Jamnick said the city has agreed to be responsible for any cost overruns on the infrastructure work required for the new building, and that Zup’s would not have any financial liability for that part of the project. The city has received a $350,000 IRRR grant for the project. The project includes installation of a new water line, sidewalks, curb and gutter, blacktop, excavation and site preparation work. The city will be opening bids on the infrastructure project on Oct. 8.
Cook City Administrator Theresa Martinson expressed the community’s support for the project, publicly thanking everyone at Zup’s, especially Matt Zupancich, for their commitment and support for the grocery store being rebuilt.
As the city looks to reduce the proposed levy rate for 2020, the council combed through the Library and Parks and Beautification budget. Librarian Crystal Phillips answered questions the councilors had for the proposed library budget. She noted the Blandin broadband funds would be ending in August of next year. The council agreed to updated job descriptions for the library and approved a modest increase of $11,450 in the library salary budget, moving Phillips to a full-time position. Councilors had positive remarks on the quality programs and activities Phillips has scheduled. Deputy Clerk Stephanie Beaudry reported that by switching to insurance through the League of Minnesota Cities, the city would save $20,000. This is twice the savings that was initially reported last month.
The council learned the “round up” program at Last Chance Liquor for the month of September had raised $1,100 for fire department turn-out gear. Volunteer firefighter Shane Johnson reported the donation of a pontoon boat for Elbow Lake emergency response. The department is working on equipping the boat for fire and EMS needs, and training department members on its use.
Cook Area Farmers Market member Melissa Roach thanked the city for their support this year. She also talked about the importance of their support to maintain and build the local food infrastructure to keep existing farms viable, for the development of beginning farmers, and keeping food dollars local as an economic driver for the area.
In other action, the board:
Approved an amendment to the city’s liquor and beer ordinance. The amendment allows for off-sale beer to be purchased beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays instead of 12 p.m.
Heard Deputy Clerk Stephanie Beaudry and Theresa Martinson’s plans for new web page development for the city.
Approved JPJ Engineering project updates and funding for an ADA ramp for the library and River Street bridge fencing.
Approved a Friends of the Park gambling permit request.