ORR- While the city of Orr is eagerly anticipating the projected mid-June completion of the brand new Bog Walk, city council members on Monday bemoaned the deteriorating conditions of several other …
ORR- While the city of Orr is eagerly anticipating the projected mid-June completion of the brand new Bog Walk, city council members on Monday bemoaned the deteriorating conditions of several other water-based recreational structures, and in particular the fishing dock at the highway pullout north of the park.
Top sections of the rails on the platform at the end of the dock are missing and the platform lists notably on one corner. With additional wear and tear on the wooden walkway, conditions are such that the fishing pier is now closed, with a blockade in place to prevent people from using it.
At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work, but when council member Tom Kennebeck stopped to look at the dock before Monday’s meeting, the barrier was lying in pieces beside the entry.
“If people keep taking the barricades down can we screw the board we have there, the barricade, right to the end of the dock so they can’t take it down?” Mayor Joel Astleford asked.
“I had that barricade wedged right up against it, but people climb over it,” Maintenance Supervisor Paul Koch replied. “I can throw a couple of screws in there.”
“Is there something on it that says it’s closed?” Astlford asked.
Koch said there is a highly visible reflective aluminum closed sign.
“You can see it all the way from the rock wall,” Koch said.
An additional issue with the fishing pier is lack of ADA-accessibility. The hill is far too steep to accommodate a direct ramp from the parking lot to the dock, which means that a lengthy gradual paved trail meeting ADA standards would cost much more than the city could afford.
Councilors were in agreement that the city could approach the Department of Natural Resources or the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board to investigate funding options.
“We’ll try and go after money for the ADA because to come in anywhere other than that rock wall just doesn’t make sense,” Astleford said. “Most people think the state of Minnesota or DNR has got a nice fishing pier, they don’t think that it’s the city of Orr’s. Worst case scenario, we’ll take it down and tell people if they want one they can go talk to DNR. If it’s unsafe, it’s unsafe.”
Chet Nieman, manager of the Orr Muni, told commissioners that the newly-installed point-of-sale and inventory system is creating more problems than it’s worth, and with insufficient training and technical assistance from the vendor compounding the issues, he’s ready to go back to the old system.
“I was supposed to do training with them, so I made an appointment with them for 3 p.m. that day, and nobody ever called. At 3:45 I called and they screwed up the schedule,” Nieman said. “Then I asked for online training, and they said it would be easier if I just email you paperwork on how to do this.”
“And that’s the way the system is, too,” Nieman continued. “ People’s credit cards are not going through, and he went through that and said everything is fine. I have products ringing up at the wrong prices.”
Told that the inventory from the old system would transfer to the new one, Nieman discovered that wasn’t the case.
“He was so sure I could keep my inventory, he said if he lost my inventory he would come back and count the building with me,” Nieman said.
“Did you keep your inventory?” Astleford asked.
“No, I have no idea what’s in the building. They put today’s inventory in after selling stuff for two days, after using stuff in the bar for two days. I do not want it. I want two new computers and Keystroke (the original system) back.”
Councilors recommended that Clerk Cheri Carter contact the company, Safe Harbor from Duluth, and demand someone come to Orr for training and fixing the system by the end of the week, or else the city will cancel the contract and go back to the old system.
In other business, the council:
• Approved the billing service Transmedic to take over billing functions for the ambulance service.
• Approved the purchase of a laptop computer for the ambulance service to replace a 2008 desk computer that has crashed and is likely irreparable.
• Approved the transfer of $150,000 of Federal Aviation Administration entitlement funds to Fillmore County Airport. Orr does not need to access those funds this year, and they will be repaid through a reciprocal transfer at a later date.
• Approved the sale of a vacant city lot to Jesse Manick and Hannah Smith for $3,250. The parties agreed to split the closing costs.