The City of Crookston’s Ways & Means Committee Met on Monday night after the city council meeting and heard from Roger Garton, an Energy Management Representative with Otter Tail Power Company presented a lighting audit for City of Crookston facilities.  The audit showed moving to LED lighting could save the city nearly $12,000 a year and if completed by the end of 2019 the estimated rebate for the upgrades would be just over $16,000. 


Location Est. Energy Saving (kWh) Est. Cost Savings Est. Rebate
Airport 13,960 $1,351.35 $2,015.40
Police Station 21,322 $1,994.89 $2,918.40
Fire Hall 8,532 $853.19 $1,756.60
City Hall 12,846 $1,237.04 $3,142.20
Park Shop 8,887 $977.59 $2,327.00
Water Department 8,332 $687.41 $2,453.40
City Shop 7,814 $836.12 $1,714.00


Additionally, a switch to LED lighting at the Highland Complex would save an estimated $3,958.40 a year. Garton explained how the audit was completed.  “The energy audit looked specifically at lighting,” said Garton.  “We walked through city buildings and did a light count.  Quantified the existing lighting and got some estimates for the run hours.  We used an approximate LED Replacement to come up with energy savings, dollar savings and rebate potential for seven city buildings plus the Highland Complex.”

Otter Tail also identified screw in light bulbs as a low-cost, quick payback measure without contracting an electrician.  “There’s a few screw-in light bulbs similar to what you have in a residential setting,” said Garton.  “Changing those to an LED is a very quick payback.  Usually a couple of months and a low-cost measure only about $1.00 for a screw-in light bulb. That is something any homeowner, as well as the city, could do without a contract electrician.  And something we recommend doing immediately.”

The committee also approved the April 22 meeting report and the 2020 budget calendar which would be scheduled to conclude with the passing of the final levy on December 13. 

Two items were brought up in the other portion of the meeting.  The first by Councilwoman Cindy Gjerswold asking if a stop sign might be possible at 4th Ave NE and Walsh St.  Public Works Director Pat Kelly suggested a group comprised of himself, Police Chief Paul Biermaier and the contracted City Engineer along with possible councilman or two be convened to look at signage around town.  He said he didn’t think the amount of traffic on Walsh St justified a stop sign but did say a traffic warrant or study would be the best way to determine that.

Biermaier said the best way to do a traffic and speed study was by finding a spot for a squad car to sit unseen.  And then after that to use the speed trailer.  The reason he suggested using a squad car and officer initially is that the trailer doesn’t provide accurate traffic counts as it may clock a car up to three times. 

The second item was brought up by Councilman Bobby Baird relating to the Broadway Street Bridge over the Red Lake River.  Baird explained that he felt the bridge needed to be addressed due to low ratings by the Minnesota Bridge Inspection in October. “Over the last year I’ve been getting a lot of calls and comments about rebar showing on the sidewalks and cracks,” said Baird.  “Last fall I brought it up at a council meeting.  I obtained a report done October 19 of 2018.  When they really start looking at items on the bridge we do have a couple fives and fours on this.”

Kelly said the City had included the bridge in their most recent state funding request, which runs on a four-year cycle but MnDOT didn’t feel the bridge need replacement at that time.  He also said it’s already planned to be included in the upcoming funding request.  City Administrator Shannon Stassen also said the bridge is not something the city would replace without the state funding because the State of Minnesota would cover 80 percent of the cost to replace a bridge they feel needs it rather than the city spending the $1 million or more to fix it by themselves.