OSAGE | During the Monday, Dec. 11 meeting of the Osage City Council approval was given for a 2-to-1 matching grant for the building of a new day care facility northwest of the Lincoln Elementary School.

In 2016, $236,000 of public pledges were raised, leaving the Day Care Funding Committee to raise an additional $145,000 by Feb. 15, 2018, to take full advantage of the city’s grant.

Tom Madden, of SEH, gave several reports on the ongoing sewer projects. He reported Phase One of the project, which covers Oak Street to the south end of town had been completed, with work continuing north of Oak Street. He asked council members for an extension of time, so contractors could return in early spring to complete 15 manholes in warmer weather. The Council approved the time extension.

Josh Byrnes, Manager of Osage Municipal Utilities, gave a year-end report. “There are communities that would die for what we have here,” Byrnes said. “We are very fortunate with our municipalities. We have local control.”

Byrnes said this year’s major project, of laying 23 miles of fiber optics from the Minnesota Border to Osage, had been completed. He stated the bandwidth system is up and running. He also said the municipality will work first on getting fiber optics to Main Street businesses to assure no downtime with internet services.

“This system is like having a ten-lane highway as compared to a regular two lane highway,” Byrnes said.

Byrnes said some of the major concerns for the utility is the current negotiation with major TV Networks asking for large increases in the cost of their programing, which could be passed on to local residents.

In further business, a report was given on the progress of developing a Rental Inspection Program for the 412 rental properties located in Osage. During the meeting, Mayor Steve Cooper showed council members pictures he had received from a local renter, whose property was in disrepair.

Cooper said, “The woman has water coming in and has contacted the landlord, but the city has no program to do anything about it, because it isn’t visible from the outside.”

Cooper said this is why Osage needs a rental inspection program.

The Council also approved Casey Thurnau as new Cemetery Sexton to replace retiring Denny Thompson.