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Cambridge City Council temporarily closes park restrooms, and more news

The Cambridge City Council discussed the closure of City Park restrooms during a meeting on Tuesday.

According to police chief Todd Schuster, vandalism has become increasingly destructive since the restrooms opened in 2016.

Schuster said city staff spends two to three hours on Monday mornings dealing with graffiti.

"He [Public Works director Todd Schwab] notes that they don't have a large workforce and a large budget to accomplish all that needs to be done on a daily basis," Schuster said. "So instead staff has to spend two to three hours every Monday morning fixing what happened over the weekend, and there's something else that's not getting done around the city."

Council member Mark Ziebarth expressed concerns over closing the restrooms in any capacity during a busy time of summer.

"The other concern I have is that the next two weeks also tend to be probably the busiest two weeks for our park with the national holiday coming up, so I'm concerned about the timing," Ziebarth said.

The council voted 3-2 to close City Park restrooms for two weeks, to give staff time to come up with a plan for the next Cambridge council meeting.

The restrooms will remain open for city-sponsored and rental events.

Photo from Cambridge City Hall Facebook page

DNR seeking input on grindstone dam removal project

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking comments on the environmental impact statement done for a proposal to remove the Grindstone River dam in Hinckley.

According to a release, The DNR proposes to remove the dam, which is in poor condition, and restore connectivity to the river channel. This would result in the permanent removal of the 26-acre Grindstone Reservoir.

A copy of the draft EIS is available on the DNR website or at the Hinckley Library. The DNR will also be holding a public meeting in the Hinckley Community Room to discuss the project on July 12.

The City of Hinckley has previously been vocally opposed to the dam removal, with city staff testifying before the legislature earlier this year.

Mora City Council updated on bike trail extension

The Mora City Council received an update on the Trunk Highway 65 bike trail extension project during Tuesday’s meeting.

According to city engineer Greg Anderson, the bike trail on the Snake River Bridge will be extended down to Little Ranches Road.

The goal of the project is to limit pedestrian and cycling traffic on the shoulder of Highway 65.

Bids for the project will open in late July, and the city council is expected to award a contract during their August meeting.

Anderson said the time frame for construction on the extension will be September and October.

Pine City Council approves grant application for fire services study

The Pine City Council approved joining with area townships to apply for a Service Planning Grant.

The grant itself would pay for a study that would look at the current fire services, how they could be improved, and at what cost.

This is part of the larger action by the townships covered by the Pine City Fire Department to plan out a potential fire district.

If awarded, the city would need to contribute around $1,200.

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