New boss, ‘Play Ball,’ traffic concerns in Stacy

Stacy city maintenance worker Tanner Jones is now supervisor Jones. 

The Stacy City Council first offered the position to another candidate, but that person declined the position, opening the door for Jones.

Council members said they were pleased Jones accepted, congratulating him and noting several residents had sent the city emails about how fast snow had been removed from city streets following winter storms, which was a duty previously performed by Jones.

Jones will now begin the process of searching for and hiring his successor.

He made his first council appearance as city maintenance supervisor at the regular March 12 meeting.

He told the council he passed his Class D water operator license test and he will work toward obtaining a Class C certification. With a population of approximately 1,400 people, the requirement is a Class D license. Jones’ certification will allow Stacy to end the contract extended to Forest Lake’s water operator. Until Jones is certified with a Class D license, the Forest Lake water operator will need to be retained.

‘Play ball!’

Stacy resident Troy Nelson has bounced back and forth to council meetings like a badly hit ground ball on artificial turf. At the March council meeting, though, Nelson took off running after hitting a solid pitch.

Nelson announced Stacy will host a major men’s softball tournament this year. “Congratulations, first of all,” he said, adding he’d like to thank city engineer Chuck Schwartz for his work on bringing the tournament to the city. “He did an awful lot of work. It’s a real huge benefit for the community.”

The dates for the tournament are Aug. 9 to 11. Twenty-five to 35 teams will arrive in Stacy and play on the four city ball fields.

Nelson, the council and city staff said they were pleased the upgrades made to the city ball fields will pay off. The council had appropriated money in hopes that if it is built, they will come. The council said the upgrades had been made possible through a grant from the Minnesota Twins Community Fund. In return, the Twins asked that a formal dedication ceremony be held.

In other news:

• Chisago County Public Works will do a traffic study on Forest Boulevard in Stacy. Residents and the council have complained about the amount of traffic the intersection of Forest Boulevard and Stacy Trail sees on weekends during the summer months, a traffic flow Mayor Mark Utecht described “brutal.” The council hopes that, in working with county engineer Joe Triplett, an accurate study will conclude the intersection is in need of a stoplight.

• Nearly one year ago the Stacy Planning Commission was dispatched to begin work on a project to bring a farmers market to Stacy. Commissioner Mark Ness reported this turned out to be a much larger issue than anyone thought, primarily because the city’s peddler, solicitor and transient merchant ordinance ran afoul of the concept of a farmers market on multiple fronts.

The commission rewrote much of that ordinance to move the plans for a farmers market forward. Council members agreed they have no formal process in place for organizing vendors. The council hopes that at least now, with the changes to the ordinance, local growers and vendors could begin to congregate at Doyle Field and organize a market on their own.

• Sharon Payne celebrated her 12th anniversary as Stacy city clerk Feb. 23. For her service, she was rewarded with applause and congratulations. “I can’t believe I still like it,” Payne said.

• The Stacy Park and Recreation committee requested an appropriation of $250 to fund the second annual Easter egg hunt at Doyle Field. The event will be at noon on March 30.

• Ness resigned from the planning commission and has taken a job in the office of city attorney Peter Grundhoefer. Former Councilmember Tony Olivolo was moved from an alternate seat to a permanent seat on the commission. Two additional seats are open. The city will be seeking volunteers to fill those posts.

• The council covered the annual report of the Stacy Sports Bar and Grill that was submitted by manager Lori Dahle. Ness complimented Dahle on the fact that she has provided numbers in previous discussions. “The numbers are starting to mean something,” he said.

Dahle noted there is not a model that works anymore for a small town bar.

“You have to expand into food,” Ness said. Councilmember Cindy Bruss agreed Dahle has covered this, while the council encouraged Dahle to continue pushing her ideas for increased revenue forward.

“The restaurants that are succeeding the most right now sell burgers,” Utecht said.  The final sales figures were not yet available for 2012, but the on-sale profits have continued to improve.

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