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Detroit Lakes warming house will be staffed this year

The Lincoln Rink warming house will be staffed this year.

After being cut from the city's budget, the public came forward to express dismay and the city went back to the budget board and found a way to fund the winter relief.

The warming house will open during the school holiday break from Dec. 23-Jan. 2, for eight hours a day. After that, the warming house will be staffed as it has been in the past.

"We have enough money in the budget to staff it as in the past until the end of February," City Administrator Bob Louiseau said.

Looking through the budget to find the funds to staff it, Louisuea said the negotiated arena contract with the hockey association provided some extra money.

Also at the city council meeting, the council said goodbye to former City Engineer Gary Nansen, with a proclamation commending him for his work done with the city.

Nansen took a teaching position with the Minnesota State Community and Technical College a month ago. When asked to come back for the night meeting, Nansen said jokingly he didn't believe the ploy to get him back was actually for a proclamation, but for Lou Guzek's presentation on tax increases.

"You don't have to stay for the whole meeting," Brenk told Nansen after he returned to his seat.

"No, I won't."

Later in the meeting, the city officially appointed Jon Pratt to serve as the city engineer. Pratt also works for Ulteig Engineers, as did Nansen.

The council also:

- Deferred action on the Zorbaz request to put up a tent from May through September 2010, and likely summers after that. The council agreed not to send the ordinance amendment on to the planning commission for more discussion.

Brenk said Zorbaz owner Tom Hanson withdrew the request and plans to come back in January with a more suitable request.

At the meeting, Bob Merritt took the opportunity to say that he lives near Zorbaz and Lakeside and all summer the noise was an issue, not always knowing which establishment it was coming from.

But, he said, with the tent in use, "noise became a notch up, more than a notch." When he would call the county sheriff's department dispatch to complain, they would tell him to call his council person, and vise versa, he said.

- Approved the final plan of the St. Mary's Planned Unit Development.

One condition was added -- to plant trees on the east and south side of the EMS building to buffer it from the neighbors.