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2020 elections, city audit on council agenda

The Austin City Council will vote on a resolution designating the Holiday Inn Conference Center as a polling location for the 2020 election during its next regular meeting.

Austin City Clerk Ann Kasel requested the resolution after recent modifications to the state’s election laws in response to COVID-19 removed schools from the list of eligible polling locations, causing Austin to lose four locations. She also said that only 25 percent of her regular election judges are willing to work due to COVID-19 concerns and that city staff may have to be utilized to account for the shortage. Both factors are forcing the city to consolidate to one location.

In a memorandum to the mayor and council, Kasel said the Holiday Inn Conference Center “is one of the largest locations in Austin and will offer space for social distancing while voting.” She also noted that the state will encourage absentee voting and the city will use plexiglass barriers, hand sanitizer and masks to keep election judges safe.

The council will also vote on awarding bids for sanitary sewer spot repairs throughout the city as well as a labor agreement with the Minnesota Public Employees Association during the meeting.

Craig Popenhagen of CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP will review the audit report for 2019 during the work session following the council’s regular meeting. In a letter to the mayor and city council, Administrative Services Director Tom Dankert said, “All in all, it was a good year for the City of Austin, with fund balances maintaining their adequate levels.”

City Engineer Steven Lang will also discuss stop sign requests for 10th Avenue and Eighth Street Northwest and Eighth Avenue and Seventh Street Northwest during the work session.

The council’s next regular meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 1, in the Council Chambers of City Hall. The work session will be held immediately following the regular meeting.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be  closed to the general public. The meeting will be broadcasted beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Charter Channel 180. Anyone who wishes to address the council must first call Kasel at 507-437-9943.

For a complete agenda, visit www.ci.austin.mn.us/city-council.