Big items on Albert Lea city council special session agenda

Albert Lea Special Session Meeting

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(ABC 6 News) – A special session of the Albert Lea city council met Wednesday with three items on the agenda – voting on bids to repair the historic VFW building, entering a 3M settlement over contaminated drinking water and union negotiations.

“When you’re trying to do what we’re trying to do in Albert Lea, and grow the community and bring bring jobs and become a destination area, you do not wat your downtown buildings to start falling apart and start tearing them down,” said Larry Baker, council member representing Ward 2.

Since the city has already put money into restoring the VFW building, the council decided it would be easier and cheaper to continue efforst to fix it up.

They voted to accept the lower of two bids on VFW building repairs, at $232,284.

“I don’t like to spend taxpayers money on something like that, but the reality of it is, we probably would have to do it anyway, so why not do it now when it’s cheaper,” said Baker.

The council decided even quicker to join in on the 3M settlement.

According to a statement from 3M, the company “entered into a broad class resolution to support PFAS remediation for public water suppliers.”

“There’s nothing unsafe as far as the city goes with those with those chemicals, it’s just kinda one of those lawsuits you put into it with the lawsuit itself and then see what happens as far as the dollar amounts,” said Robert Rasmussen, council member representing Ward 5)

3M pledged to pay between $10.5 billion and $12.5 billion to communities who have been harmed by PFAS chemicals.

Both agenda items were unanimously.

The council moved to a closed session to discuss union negotiations. All that is known at this time is they recommended to move forward with negotiations between the fire and police unions.