by Eric Oslund
The Otsego City Council made revisions to the purchasing policy, which was last approved on April 23, 2012.
A majority of the new draft is the same as the existing policy. But the primary changes include increasing purchase authorization amounts as long as the purchase had been prioritized for in the budget – if not in the budget then the council has to approve of anything over $5,001 – the use of purchase orders has been relaxed, narritives have been revised to better fit current procedures, and statutory references have been rewritten or added to help make authoritative references easier to find.
It’s important that city officials periodically review existing policies to make sure they are sticking to their budgeting process, to provide department heads with more operational authority, to reduce the time involved with multiple presentations – such as budget, sub-committee, and council – and to ensure the policy is aligned with state statutes, the best practices available, and existing procedures.
Norin Landing is being surveyed
The city of Otsego received the Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Recreation Grant for $150,000 in June 2017 to go towards the development of Norin Landing. However, any proposed projects receiving federal funding need to undergo an evaluation of the property to identify any historical properties and potential impacts from the proposed improvements, according to the Minnesota Historical Society.
The city contacted four companies that do Phase 1 surveys, but only two companies were able to provide quotes for the requested work. Of those two, the Otsego city staff recommended going with the Duluth Archaeology Center L.L.C. to perform the survey for $3,252, which the council approved.
If any historical properties are discovered during the survey, then recommendations will be provided on how to minimize the impract on them during park improvements.
The survey is estimated to be completed by December 2017.