Friday, March 30, 2018

April Showers

March 27, 2018
Kindness is its own reward
I have posted an experience that occurred a week ago on my blog and I wanted to share it with the rest of my neighbors. On Friday night we went out for dinner. Abby and I both had a nice steak dinner and the kids each selected something good as well. When we were ready for the check the waitress did not come over for a little bit, and when she did finally come over she told us we were good to go and that our check had been picked up by the table next to us. The waitress asked if that was one of my friends and I told her no. Since we all know that if you receive a Random Act of Kindness that it brings bad karma if not repaid, so while looking for my options to pay-it-forward I decided that part of my repayment would be to issue a challenge for my neighbors. I know Mantorville residents love to volunteer, donate and help others. Here is my challenge to my fellow residents. Look for an opportunity to do something nice for someone else, it doesn’t have to be buying dinner maybe it is simply spending some of your time helping someone. I assure you I will follow up on my pay-it-forward of a RAK and I encourage each of you to start a brand new chain and not wait for the opportunity to repay a RAK.

Cell Coverage
If you have followed my blog or read many of my past articles, you will know that we have been pushing to get an antenna array on top of the water tower to increase the options available to Mantorville residents for their cellular service provider. We were informed that AT&T has plans to start the installation of the equipment early this spring. We are looking forward to our partnership with AT&T and welcome this expanded service coverage. I will post pictures of the ground breaking and keep everyone posted as to the progress.

Bus Stop Security
The City has installed a wireless security device in the bus stop on Bergmann drive. We hope that this device will help deter any future vandalism. The bus stop is for the benefit of our students while they wait for a ride to school. Vandalizing these structures is causing harm to a facility designed for the comfort of our students and the City is committed to taking the necessary steps in order to protect these assets. Please respect our community and protect our mutual assets and report any observations of damage or vandalism to the Sherriff’s office.

Yours in Service

Chuck Bradford
Mayor, City of Mantorville

Friday, March 16, 2018

Random Acts of Kindness

Tonight our family went to Texas Road House for dinner. We all had a great dinner. There was a cute little kid across form us that keep looking at us. We smiled at him and his dad. We exchanged smiles throughout our meal, and they left before us. We patiently waited for for our check and finally the waitress came over and told us that our bill had been paid. This was a great unsuspected surprise. We had a long talk on the way home about how we can pay-it-forward. I encourage all of us took look for ways to pay it forward. You don't have to buy a family of four a meal, but look for easy ways to help someone else. I think we can all learn from this experience and use it as an example of how we should act towards one and other. My Challenge to you this week is pay it forward. Look for ways to help someone just because it is the right thing to do.

Yours in Service,

Chuck Bradford
Mayor, City of Mantorville

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Muligan Stew on the Ides of March

The "Ides" of March, 2018
Pot Holes and Road Work:
The is watching the conditions of the roads and the pot holes that spring up every year. The City does have a plan to look at some of the roads in most need next year and will be preforming some road projects. Look for more details on the 2018 road projects in a future article.

Bridge Lighting:
A few weeks ago the City replaced some broken lights on the bridge over the river. Two days later those lights were broken again. When we installed the new lights we did notice that the globes did not match well with those that were faded so the City Council determined that we would order all new globes so that everything will match. These new globes will be installed as soon as they arrive.

Remember Mulligan Stew:

Every year the Mantorville Restoration Association conducts a “Mulligan Stew” and auction. This year this event will be held at the Hubble House on this Thursday March 15 from 4:30pm to 7:00pm. This auction is a fund raiser for the MRA and an opportunity for some nice items to find a new life. Individuals or organizations interested in making a donation for the auction are encouraged to contact City Hall for more details. I hope to see many of our friends and neighbors at this event.


Yours in service,

Chuck Bradford,
Mayor - City of Mantorville
MantorvilleMayor@Gmail.Com
MayorBradford.BlogSpot.com

Monday, February 26, 2018

Getting the Word Out

February 26, 2018

VANDALS
The City is still investigating damage to City property that occurred the night of Saturday January 27. Two City signs and a bus stop were vandalized with spray paint. Anyone with information is encouraged to inform City Hall or the Dodge County Sheriff's office.

More Cell Coverage:
AT&T has renewed their building permit and has submitted updated drawings and designs for an antenna array on top of our water tower. This will expand the cell coverage for our community and surrounding area, provide our citizens with more choice in providers and bring the City some additional revenue. This is one of the projects we have been trying to get implemented for several years and it now looks like we are going to see some action this Spring. I will keep everyone posted.

Joint Venture:
The joint ventures group that consists of the Kasson-Mantorville School District, The City of Kasson and the City of Mantorville will be installing some plaques around the area to highlight the contributions that this group makes to our community.The group has updated basketball equipment in Riverside Park as well as in Kasson, worked on a lighting project and continues to invest in park infrastructure and equipment. Look for the new plaques to start showing up soon.


Yours in service,

Chuck Bradford,
Mayor - City of Mantorville
MantorvilleMayor@Gmail.Com
MayorBradford.BlogSpot.com

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Reward offered for arrest

VANDALS
The City is investigating damage to City property that occurred the night of Saturday January 27. Two City signs and a bus stop were vandalized with spray paint. I have included of some of the  damage below and there was some that was too offensive to publish.














The Dodge County Sheriff's office is  collecting evidence and talking to witnesses. I am personally offering a reward of $500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. If those responsible would like to minimize the results from these actions, it is strongly recommended that they identify themselves to the City and work with staff to make repairs. The Dodge County Sheriff's office is investigating these criminal actions and will be following leads and witness reports soon. The City considers this vandalism a significant criminal action and will encourage the Sheriffs office to activity identify those responsible. Those with information regarding these events are encouraged to inform City Hall or contact the Dodge County Sheriff's office directly.

Yours in service,

Chuck Bradford,
Mayor - City of Mantorville
MantorvilleMayor@Gmail.Com
MayorBradford.BlogSpot.com

Monday, January 22, 2018

2018 State of the City

January 22, 2018
The City still has maintained it’s AA- Standard and Poor’s (“S&P”) rating for a fourth year in a row. During the last review a note of “no change expected” was noted and is a strong indicator that Mantorville is on solid fiscal grounds. The City is able to move forward with needed infrastructure projects and the City is currently planning for the future. The state of the City is strong, stable and very healthy.

Tax Levy Rate:
The City was able to once again reduce the tax rate.
Tax Year
Levy Dollar Amount
Levy Rate
2009
$406,611.00
56%
2010
$414,743.00
57%
2011
$423,037.00
63%
2012
$427,268.00
73%
2013
$427,268.00
72%
2014
$422,995.00
72%
2015
$424,525.00
72%
2016
$427,226.00
70%
2017
$440,118.00
68%
2018
$453,322.00
61%
Historical Tax Levy information for Mantorville
You may notice in the above table that the levy amount for the City exceeded the amount from 2012 for the first time for the 2017 budget even though our tax rate had decreased. The reason for this is that the taxable values of properties within Mantorville increase around 9% in 2016 and 13% last year. If the council had allowed both of these increases due to property tax values increasing the tax levy would be over $525K for 2018. The council did not want to raise our tax levy amount by 13% (zero rate change) while the housing market is just starting to recover. The council did feel that the levy needed to increase over the 2012 dollar value in order to meet some of the construction needs during the next two years.

Waste Water Treatment:
The City was able to break ground on the long awaited Waste Water Treatment Plant in 2016 and was able to complete the project in 2017. With this project being completed and the City benefiting from some grant money as well as low interest loans for this project, the council is now able to start taking a more focused look at the much needed street projects. In November we received an official letter that notified the City of a grant for our project in the amount of $1.8M with an additional PFA loan amount of $469K at 1% interest. This is very good news for the citizens of Mantorville. I will post the entire letter to my mayors blog (MayorBradford.BlogSpot.com).

Water Over the Dam:
Maybe I should say water under the dam. The City was able to conduct some maintenance on our dam. Maintenance was preformed on the foot of the dam as well as the mechanism of the gate on the dam. In 2018, there may be some additional maintenance needed on the dam, I will keep everyone updated on this process.

Speaking of Water:
We conducted a visual inspection fo the water tower to determine needed maintenance items and to check on the operation of the overflow control mechanism. We are still working with AT&T on a timeline for the antena upgrade to better serve the citizens of Mantorville with cell service.

State Capitol Re-dedication:
The State Capitol was repaired, refurbished and re-dedicated in 2017. Many mayors from around the state including myself, represented our cities at the re-branding ceremonies.

City Branding Efforts
The EDA and the City have been working on a branding project since 2015. The final three designs for the new look and feel for the City were on display and businesses and citizens voted on their favorite designs. After public input the EDA choose a design and the EDA was able to finalize this work in 2017. Logo items can be purchased from various merchants around town. After Mantorville rolled out our new Brand, The Secretary of State, Steve Simon, came down to Mantorville and discuss our process as well as to solicit some feedback on our observations of working with the Secretary of State's office. The City will continue to move forward with these efforts on additional assets as they are needed.

Streets and Infrastructure:
The City was able to complete phase one of the fifth street project and plans are in place for the continued work on phase two of that project. The City is also revisiting its street inventory study with our City Engineer and City staff. The City council uses this survey to evaluate which streets are next in line for attention and needs funds budgeted. This spring/summer construction season looks to be a very busy one again for Mantorville and I will keep everyone updated via my blog and articles.

A Bright Future
The last year brought both challenges and opportunities. The Council was able to move forward with some much needed constriction projects and infrastructure needs while maintaining our S&P rating with sound fiscal policy. The City's effort over the past several years to secure grant and bonding funds for the WWTP project were rewarded and the project was completed. In 2017, the City saw an increase in constructions permits.The state of the City is sound and healthy and every indication is that Mantorville will have another healthy year in 2018.


Yours in service,

Chuck Bradford,
Mayor - City of Mantorville
MantorvilleMayor@Gmail.Com
MayorBradford.BlogSpot.com





Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

December 24, 2017
In 2017 I had the opportunity to visit Poland. While in Poland I was able to visit Auschwitz, the famous Nazi concentration camp. While this is a powerful and dark reminder for anyone who cares about religious freedom, I think for me it held an even more significant historical importance. My next door neighbor while growing up had not only been to this place, she had the numeric tattoo to prove it. I felt I needed to go see this dark place to try and understand what it must have been like for her. While I had read the stories and understood what happened in this place, I was not prepared for the sheer size and expanse of a facility that was dedicated to evil. While I thought about the images I was seeing and trying to relate the stories I heard from my neighbor I realized just how special the United States is and how lucky we are to have a culture free from religious persecution. I was also struck by the notion of just how important it is to celebrate our chosen religion. I remember how proud she was to wish us a Happy Chanukah and how she always smiled back as we wished her a Merry Christmas. This seasonal exchange of warmth, compassion and love is one of my favorite memories around Christmas. I have always remembered to share this seasonal greeting with those that are important to me, so let me wish all my neighbors and friends a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah and a safe and prosperous new year.

Merry Christmas,

Chuck Bradford,
Mayor - City of Mantorville
MantorvilleMayor@Gmail.Com
MayorBradford.BlogSpot.com

Monday, November 27, 2017

Formal Award Letter


Holidays and Celebrations

November 27, 2017

I hope everyone was able to have a nice thanksgiving celebration with his or her family this past week. Thanksgiving marks the start of our traditional holiday season and the season of giving. While many of us are focused on that perfect gift for someone special, we too often forget to consider the needs of our community and those outside our immediate circle. While donating to a charity, or volunteering are obvious ways to help another very important way to help others this holiday season is often overlooked. This time of year the local blood banks are dangerously low on fresh blood and you could literally save a life by donating a unit of blood over the holiday season. This simple gift could literally be the difference between life and death for someone, so please consider adding this special gift to your holiday tradition.

Fifth Street:
During the last City Council meeting the council asked our engineer to look at the options available for adding a pedestrian path to Fifth Street. Our engineer was going to look at a trail on the south side for safety reasons, look at a trail on the north side for cost considerations and any option where the road surface could be shifted. The initial design phase for any significant project is to look at all options, get a scope of work for each and fully understand the various implications of each proposal. Many of my neighbors have expressed their thoughts on this project and we will defiantly take those concerns into consideration when selecting the most appropriate option based on cost, feasibility and safety. I did want to share with you that while we are looking at all options your input and concerns are also an important consideration when making a final project plans. Once we have more detail from our engineer I will post an update on how the project is proceeding and the option that the council feels is most appropriate.

Grant Money:
The City was notified a few months ago of the preliminary allocation of grant money and loan funding options available for the Mantorville Waste Water Treatment Plant project. After the initial notification we were told that an official letter would be sent to the City to confirm those funds and the exact dollar amount. While I really wanted to share the news as soon as we received the unofficial notice, I thought it was more prudent to wait for the formal letter. Two weeks ago we did receive the official letter that notified the City of a grant for our project in the amount of $1.8M with an additional PFA loan amount of $469K at 1% interest. This is very good news for the citizens of Mantorville. I will post the entire letter to my blog.

Kiwanis Club:
There is a new Kiwanis club forming in Kasson Mantorville.  According to the Kiwanis web site (www.kiwanis.org) the focus of the organization is:
“Kiwanis helps kids around the world. Local clubs look out for our communities and the international organization takes on large-scale challenges, such as fighting disease and poverty. We are generous with our time. We are creative with our ideas. We are passionate about making a difference. And we have fun along the way.”
The club is still accepting applications for the charter members of our communities club. Anyone interested in joining this club and helping the younger generation within our community is encouraged to contact Randy Schmidt at RSchmidt.Kiwanis@GMail.com

Yours in Service,

Chuck Bradford
Mayor, City of Mantorville
MayorBradford.BlogSpot.com

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Our Next Generation

October 17, 17
Student Presentations:
Last week Mayor McKern and myself were invited to serve as judges for student presentations on “How to improve our community”. The presentations covered promotional videos, ideas for new businesses, recreational opportunities and infrastructure needs. I was impressed by how closely the student’s comments echoed the embodied spirit of our two communities. From the student’s presentations it was clear that they saw the value of our close inviting community, our rich heritage and the value of being removed from a major metropolitan area. The presentations focused on how to keep our identity and improve on what we have. One of the presentations featured footage from a drone of the Kasson-Mantorville area and was a solid representation of just how beautiful our two cities are from the air. Another presentation featured an interview with the school superintendent Mark Matuska and was a clear illustration of just how available our superintendent makes himself to our student body. After all the presentations I was very impressed with how confident the students were, how much thought the students put into their presentations and how blessed we are as a community to have the quality of students we have in the Kasson-Mantorville school system.

Nevermore:
The Mantorville Theater Companies’ presentation of “Nevermore” is this year’s fall dinner theater. This year as in the past, there were student volunteers that helped with serving duties. The play is really a very special treat, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy this year’s presentation, I would strongly recommend that you reserve a ticket now. The play examines the life and times of American Author Edger Allen Poe. The score, costumes and theatrical performance are atypical of what you might think of from a small town theater and are really a great surprise. The play is a great get-away for Date Night or even a great family event.  For more information, check out the MTC web site at Mantorvillian.com, on Facebook or buy tickets in person at the Chocolate Shoppe. 

Yours in Service,

Chuck Bradford
Mayor, City of Mantorville

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Quick Update

October 10, 2017
Waste Water Treatment Plant:
Last Friday I received a late text message that the pumps connecting the new line from our existing Waste Water Treatment Plant over to the upgraded plant in Kasson were operating. When looking back at our notes this is a project that we have been working on since 2008. For many of us on the council it was that moment we sighed a collective sigh of relief. The City of Mantorville has been fortunate to have a good staff to keep our plant running combined with some good luck on the mechanical side of the plant. The milestone of actually connecting to Kasson is a significant one, and one that many on the council were anxiously looking forward to.

Just water over the Dam: 
The Dam has had some recent maintenance performed on it and we are looking at additional work that may need to be performed. Many of you have noted that the river level has fluctuated a great deal over the summer and the reason for this was that the city needed to evaluate the Dam’s needs and then preform some of the work.

Yours in Service,

Chuck Bradford
Mayor, City of Mantorville
MayorBradford.BlogSpot.com

Monday, September 11, 2017

Pappus named as 10th Mantorville GEM


Gems of Mantorville, 2017

This is the 10th year we have been giving GEM awards out. The award was started in order to recognize individuals that have made an exceptional effort to improving the quality of life in our community through volunteerism and dedication to their neighbors. Previous recipients have varied in age from the young to the young at heart. The recipients have been students, entrepreneurs, artist and community members. The one common thread between all of them is that they have a strong sense of community pride and enjoy giving of ones self. It is my honor to present this year’s selection for the GEM of Mantorville award.


Around 1945 Paul Pappas married Irene Stussy and the Hubble House was given to the couple as a wedding gift by Irene’s father. Paul opened the “high end” steak house in June of ’46. Growing the business from 3 employees to over 50 employees by ’59 Paul’s management of the restaurant was instrumental in making the business a success, increasing Mantorvilles’ national notoriety and was recognized as one of the top 500 supper clubs nation wide.


After Paul Pappus‘ death in ‘96 Paul’s son Don has taken over the reins of the Historic Hubble House. Under Don’s leadership the business still operated under his fathers original moto: “Put a good meal on the plate, charge a fair price, offer a pleasant atmosphere and treat your customers and employees right. If you do, people will come back."


The Pappus family has always been willing to offer a helping hand in local fund raising efforts, to host various meetings and help out financially with local causes.


For his commitment to maintaining one of Mantorvill’s historic landmarks combined with his community involvement it gives me great please to award Don Pappus with this years “GEM of Mantorville” award.


Previous Award Recipients:
Year
Historic GEMs
Present GEMs
2007
Irene Stussey Pappus Felker
Paul Larsen
2008
Alonzo J Edgerton
John Olive
2009
Teunis Slingerland, Sr.
Dick Leonard
2010
Peter Mantor
E Jane Olive
2011
Paul Pappus
Marlyn Schroeder
2012
[open]
MaryLee Lambert
2013
Willis and Gladys Carlson
Terry “Grumpy” Sell
2014
John Hubbell
Anthony Hosftad
2015
Walt Bruzek
Randy Carlson
2016
Robert Anthony Sorenson
Mary Ann Bucher
2017
[open]
Don Pappus

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tenth Aniversery of the GEM of Mantorville Award

The Mantorville Economic Development Authority has been awarding the GEM of Mantorville award for ten years now. This years presentation will mark a special milestone in the EDA's recognition of those that have made a real contribution to Mantorville. Each year the recipients are divided into those that are still with us and making a difference and those that have departed, but their impact is still felt. The award was given to the following present and past recipients:
YearHistoric GEMs Present GEMs
2007 Irene Stussey Pappus Felker Paul Larsen
2008 Alonzo J Edgerton John Olive
2009 Teunis Slingerland, Sr. Dick Leonard
2010 Peter Mantor E Jane Olive
2011 Paul Pappus Marlyn Schroeder
2012 [open] MaryLee Lambert
2013 Willis and Gladys Carlson Terry “Grumpy” Sell
2014 John Hubbell Anthony Hosftad
2015 Walt Bruzek Randy Carlson
2016 Robert Anthony Sorenson Mary Ann Bucher
Stay Tuned for this years recipients.....

Monday, September 4, 2017

Collaboration is a good thing!

September 4, 2017

Good community stewardship involves fighting waste, listening to concerns and looking for areas of collaboration across governmental lines. We have received some good news earlier this fall in regards to our Waste Water Treatment Plant and some possible State funding. We are still waiting for final confirmation on those opportunities. I wanted to share with my neighbors some of the other areas that your local leadership is working together to promote a strong and health community.

Joint Ventures:
The joint venture group is a formal committee that consists of the KM School, City of Kasson and the City of Mantorville. Each organization contributes financially to this group and the group makes capital expenditures, thereby avoiding duplication. Equipment that each organization would only utilize on an occasional basis can be purchased as a joint effort, thereby getting better leverage for our tax dollars. The group also looks to help build and maintain recreational infrastructure such as baseball game and practice fields. This summer the group updated basketball hoops and playing surfaces in both Mantorville and Kasson as well as funding repairs to fencing and field drainage. The group did meet a couple of weeks ago and we discussed the following items for possible future projects:
  • Traveling Soccer squad field requirements
  • New lighting for ball fields
  • Additional new fencing needs
The group will meet again this fall where we will determine which of these projects will get a focus for the coming year as well as discuss new projects for the next couple of years. I would encourage anyone that has ideas to share with this group to send those ideas to myself or superintendent Matuska and we will make sure to have those ideas explored at our next meeting.

Coalition of Governments:
The elected officials from the County, City of Mantorville and City of Kasson along with the Kasson-Mantorville superintendent all try to meet informally about once a quarter to keep all the other groups “in-the-loop” on what each other are working on. This gives us a chance to level-set on the progress of mutual projects (like the Waste Water Treatment Plant) as well as shed light of areas that the other organizations are looking at and might be of interest to the other members as well. We have been calling this group “COG” ( Coalition of Governments). The COG had an opportunity to meet this past week, and there was a lot of interest in Mantorville projects. We are looking to complete the Mantorville to Kasson connection line project in September now after a slight equipment setback. The MPCA will still need to sign off on all the work and our plans, and once completed we can start to make plans for a switch over, followed by a decommissioning project for our current plant site.
Marigold Days:
The Road work by Casey's general store started last Wednesday and should be completed by this weekend. This along with several cold patches that have been applied to pot holes in the parade route should put us in a good position for our End of Summer parade. Marigold Days is this coming weekend and again there are a lot of events to entertain every age group. The complete schedule of events can be found at MarigoldDays.com and this year will include:
  • Grand Parade
  • Kiddie Parade
  • Firemen Dance
  • Saloon Dance
  • Courtesy Transportation between Mantorville and Kasson
  • Art Show
  • Car Show
  • Quilt Show
  • Melodramas
And much more. I am looking forward to seeing everyone down town for this celebration and I hope to have the opportunity to have a conversation with many of you.

Yours in Service,

Chuck Bradford
Mayor, City of Mantorville
MayorBradford.BlogSpot.com

Monday, August 28, 2017

State wide Mayors attending the Rededication ceremony


In the above two photos we can see the Mayors from around the State that were able to be a part of the Capitol Building re-dedication celebration. The second image shows off the amazing stone work that was preformed to give our "Peoples House" a much needed facelift.