Monday, September 16, 2013

Celebrating the Past and Looking Forward

September 14, 2013
My remarks during the closing ceremony for the 1921 portion of the old school building that will soon become the property of Dodge County:

Reviewing the documents in the Time Capsule
Thank you Jane.

I would like to thank our County Board of Commissioners for working with the city and understanding our needs and concerns.

Welcome everyone!  From time to time we reach a point in history where it is appropriate to pause , reflect and to celebrate.  Today is such a day. 

The building behind us has meant a great deal to the people of Mantorville and Dodge County.  It provided the foundation upon which our citizens built both their educational and professional careers.   Unfortunately, change is often necessary especially when not doing so would be detrimental to our quality of life.  

The good news is, we are not losing the entire structure, only a portion of the building. We are not losing county services, not losing the oldest working court house in the state and we are not losing a valued partner in our community.  This is cause for celebration!

Today we commemorate the win/win solution which the County and City were able to find meeting a critical need.  I would ask you to join me in celebrating the past and looking to the future as we welcome the new life, which will soon be seen in the rest of the building.

Please enjoy some of the materials that our Historical Society has on display today, tour the old building once more and share your stories about our school with one another.

Thank you again for coming out and joining us today.


Monday, September 9, 2013

The 48th Marigold Day celebration was a success

This past weekend we enjoyed the 48th annual marigold days celebration. I would like to thank the MRA and all of our great volunteers for a well run event. Through out the weekend I heard so many positive comments and everyone looked like they really enjoyed themselves.

During the weekend, I talked to a few vendors that indicated they might like to start a business in Mantorville and I will be working with our EDA to follow up on those opportunities. Events like this past weekend are just one of the reasons Mantorville has the charm that attracts both businesses and residents to our community.

During the weekend a new Mantorville court was crowned. Congratulations to Mss. Soland and all of her court, well done ladies. I would also like to congratulate our 2013 GEM Mr. Sell, "Grumpy" has done so much for our community that it just made sense to recognize his efforts at this time.

This next weekend we will be holding a celebration to mark the transition of the old school from its current use to its future use. During this celebration the corner stone will be opened and the contents will be donated to the historical society. There will be opportunities for people to take a tour of the school and there will be a display of some items by the historical society.

Thank you again to everyone that made this past weekend such a success and also thank you to everyone that choose to spend the weekend with us.

Yours in service.

Chuck Bradford

Friday, September 6, 2013

What does a council member do?

Mantorville's city Council is composed of 4 city council members and a Mayor. The Mayor is a "weak" Mayor in the sense that the office does not have veto authority. Shown in the picture below from left to right are Council member Swanson, Council Member Ballard, Mayor Bradford, Council member Blair and Council member Maxson. Administering the oath is Mantorville's city Clerk/Administrator Mss. Reber.

Committee Assignments:
There are about 15 sub committees that are a part of the advisory board to the City Council. Most committees have two council members on them and the typical council member will have about 7 assignments. Most of the Committees meet on regular monthly basis and a typical meeting last from 45 mins to 3 hours depending on topics. Committees are setup to focus on one aspect of the city. The city has an EDA, Park Bord, MRA, Personnel and other areas.

Each council member for Mantorville receives $1800 a year and the Mayor gets $2000. This is paid by a single check at the end of the year.

The four council members serve a four year term with two of the terms staggered so that only two seats are up for an election at any given election year. The Mayor serves in a two year term.

Special Elections & Appointments:
If a council member resigns before the end of their term, then the council will solicit  names of interested persons to be "appointed" to a council seat until the next available election. At the next available election the appointed member must run for the seat. This is why in 2012 we had 3 council members running and a Mayoral race. After the special election, the term returns to it's prior schedule so that two seats are up for re-election in any given election year. 

Current Assignments:

Mayor - Chuck Bradford  
Deputy Mayor – Henry Blair 
Chamber of Commerce  -  Jim Maxson, Henry Blair

            Meets first Thursday of the Month/Hubbell House 
EDA  Don Swanson, Chuck Bradford
           Meets First Tuesday of the month in Council Chambers  
Finance/Budget Chuck Bradford, Barb Ballard 
Fire Dept. RepresentativesJim Maxson, Don Swanson
            Meets the 1st Wednesday of the Month in Fire Hall  
Infrastructure - Jim Maxson, Henry Blair  
KM Park & Rec. Joint Powers Board – Chuck Bradford and Adam Hovden 
MRABarb Ballard, Don Swanson

            Meets Second Tuesday of the Month at the Opera House 
Park BoardHenry Blair, Barb Ballard

            Meets Last Tuesday of the Month in the Council Chambers 
Personnel Chuck Bradford, Henry Blair 
Relief Association Trustees MeetingBarb Ballard, Cami Reber

            Meets once per quarter in the Fire Hall or Chamber 
Township Reps – Meets once per month as noted below – Chuck Bradford and Cami

·       Mantorville meets the first Monday of each month @ 7:30 pm Mantorville Town Hall
·       Wasioja meets Second Monday of each month (December – March) 1:00 pm
                                                                                   (April – November)   7:00 pm Wasioja Town Hall
·       Milton meets the first Tuesday of each month @ 7:30 PM Milton Town Hall 
Council of GovernmentsChuck Bradford
Meets the first Thursday of every quarter @ 7 am at the County Seat Coffeehouse 
Dam Committee Jim Maxson, Don Swanson 
Planning Committee Henry Blair, Barb Ballard 
Sewer Committee Jim Maxson, Chuck Bradford

Celebrating the Past and Looking Forward

August 30, 2013

The summer has gone by so fast. Our children are going back to school, the days are getting sorter and many of us are making our fall plans. Before we leave the summer of 2013 behind, we have a few more things to do. This following weekend we will hold our annual Marigold Days celebration with numerous outstanding events scheduled throughout the weekend including a parade on Sunday and the crowing of the Mantorville court on Saturday. For a complete list of events and a schedule go to this URL: I hope everyone is able to attend these great events with your families and friends. See you all out next weekend.

As I mentioned in a previous article, a portion of the old school building is going to be dismantled, while retaining the other portions of the building for re-use. The 1921 original section of the school does not meet the needs of the County and will come down later next month. There has been a celebration scheduled to pay tribute to the contributions the school has made and the new contributions the remaining building will continue to make to the community and county. The celebration will include an examination of the building’s corner stone and opening of any “time capsule” that may be inside. The mystery as to weather or not there is a time capsule is intriguing. Everyone is invited to attend this celebration, which will be held on September 14th from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The ceremony to open the time capsule will be held at 5:00 pm. The contents of any capsule found will be donated to the Dodge County Historical Society. Attendees can take a tour of the school and there will be a fundraiser to benefit the Dodge County Historical Society. There will be drinks and refreshments available from 3:00 to 6:00 pm. One of our honorable Senators, Dave Senjem will be in attendance.

The Mantorville EDA, in cooperation with the Mantorville Restoration Association and the Mantorville Theatre Company, is installing wireless Internet service into the Opera House. Internet access is for the benefit of the MTC and MRA groups but also makes the Opera House more desirable as a meeting place for organizations and individuals. Most folks don’t know this but the facility is also available for rent if you looking for a charming and historical place for an event or meeting. If you would like more information, contact Jane Olive at

Yours in service,

Chuck Bradford,

A Busy Summer

This summer has been a busy one for the City and the City Council. Mantorville has hosted some great celebrations this summer and we were fortunate to have had good weather for most of our events. As the summer winds down, we are currently looking for volunteers to help with “Fall Fest”, those interested can contact City Hall, The EDA or myself.
The tourism sub-committee of the EDA has been active in promoting our citywide celebrations as well as planning for the future. One of the services that the tourism committee offers is the walking tour of Mantorville. The free brochures can be found in most local businesses. The brochure has a map of landmarks with historical interest and a small description about the property. The landmarks themselves are marked with a painted “stage coach” on the sidewalk in front of the property. The tourism committee needed a dedicated resource to help augment the volunteers efforts promoting tourism in Mantorville, with the help of title 5 funding the Tourism committee has been able to hire a resource that will help with promoting tourism in Mantorville and keeping our online content fresh.
The EDA is already working with some local businesses to help them expand and start their operations in the City of Mantorville. The EDA has a revolving loan fund, which was partially funded with a grant from the USDA. The businesses that these low interest loans benefit will contribute to the tax base within the City as well as provide our citizens more local options for their shopping enjoyment. The EDA currently has more capacity with this fund and current or future Mantorville businesses that would like to be considered are encouraged to apply.
The EDA is also currently seeking nominations for this year’s “GEMs of Mantorville”. If you would like to submit a name for consideration please send us the name of the individual you are nominating, the name of the person making the nomination and a brief description of why you feel they have “Gone above and beyond” for the city. Applications are due at City Hall by August 6th at 4:00pm. The award will be presented at the “Marigold Days” celebration.
The City Council was presented with an update by our engineering staff as to the progress of the Waste Water Treatment project. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is currently reviewing both cities plans and our engineer has indicated that so far everything is on-track. The next step is to select and secure a route for our line to Kasson.
The City of Mantorville is interviewing candidates for our maintenance staff position. In the interim, we have hired a person on a temporary basis to help with summer related activities. The interviewing committee will conduct the first rounds of interviews and make a recommendation to the full council. The full city council will have to make the final decision.

The City Council conducted a public input session concerning the Mantorville dog park. The City Council wanted to gauge what understanding both sides had from former discussions regarding the park’s future and the City’s involvement. The Dog Park committee would like the City to “match” Kasson’s’ $5000 donation using a portion of the Rochester Sales Tax Money that was given to the City of Mantorville. The City had previously said that Mantorville Tax dollars would not be used to build the park; however, at the time no one foresaw Rochester Sales Tax money being an option. The City Council did not make any commitments at the last meeting; however, the Council did agree to spend more time looking into the options.

The next City Council meeting will be on August 12th and the next EDA meeting will be on August 6th both meetings begin at 6:30pm in the Mantorville City Council chamber. The city Council will hold it’s retreat on August 22nd the Council will need to make some preliminary decisions on our budget for next year and we will be reviewing our sub-committees request for funding for next year at the retreat.

I want to thank the Kasson-Mantorville Lions club for donating time and effort to apply a new fresh coat of paint on our main pavilion and bathroom in Riverside park. The buildings look great! Thanks again!

Yours in service

Chuck Bradford, Mayor - City of Mantorville

Moving Forward

 May 6, 2013
April was a busy month for the Mantorville city council. The council meet four times in the month of April to go over financial planning, updating some ordinance, hold a local board of appeals session and to select an option for our wastewater treatment plant.

The city of Mantorville has a financial rating of “AA-“ which is good news for our citizens because this will allow us to bond at a lower rate for projects. A lower bond rate means that any project the city bonds for will have a lower cost per citizen and will continue to help the city reduce the tax burden on our citizens.

After some long meetings reviewing the agreement for the option to Kasson, reviewing the cost of the various options and an on-site tour of the Kasson facility, the city council decided on a five to zero vote to partner with Kasson for the cities wastewater treatment. Some of the considerations that determined the council’s decision were:

1)    Mantorville has a space limitation for “expansion” at our current site.
2)     Legal agreement provides ample protection for both communities.
3)    On going cost for plant operation is lower for a “shared” plant.
4)    Potential lower environmental impact.
5)    The cost difference of one million dollars.

Now that an option has been selected the city has a good understanding of what the financial implications for our wastewater treat will be in the coming years and we can move forward with other projects.

The Mantorville EDA will be holding a public meeting to solicit input from citizens on what the city should look at for projects to be funded with the “sales tax” revenue coming from the City of Rochester. The city of Kasson choose to donate their money to the “Destination Medical Center” project which the State Legislature, the City of Rochester and Mayo clinic are working on. The Mantorville EDA has already been presented with some options for consideration and we would like additional input from our citizens. This money can only be used for “Economic Development” activities and the state has a exact definition of this terms which the City of Mantorville will have to comply with. The public input session will be held on May 7th at 7:30pm in the Mantorville city council chamber. Anyone wishing to share their opinion on the subject will be given the opportunity to address the commission. The EDA will consider all the options, conduct any needed additional research and eventually make a recommendation back to the city council. The city council will then make a final determination on which projects best serve the community and make plans for the project execution.

 Please visit my blog at for updates this month, I will be adding some additional articles on my blog answer some common questions I look forward to reading your comments on any of my articles.

 Feel free to contact me at my email address of or add a comment to my blog at I look forward to hearing your ideas and comments.

Yours in service,

 Chuck Bradford
Mayor, City of Mantorville