As of late last week, the City of Redwood Falls had received two applications to fill the Ward 1 seat on the city council. The two individuals who have filed are Patrick Schwarz and John Madden.

The window to apply to serve in that role for the remainder of the term continues until Jan. 18, and those who are interested may pick up a copy of the application at city hall or it can be downloaded from the City of Redwood Falls Web site.

In order to apply for the council position, an individual must meet basic requirements, including being eligible to vote. They must also be a resident of Ward 1 for more than 30 days at the time they submit their application. The city’s first ward includes residents who live in the area south of Bridge Street and west of Halvorson Street. 

Once the window closes, the applications will be reviewed and interviews will be conducted, with an appointment made by the mayor.

Keith Muetzel, city administrator, told the city council at its Jan. 2 meeting that the appointment could be made as early as next month.

Tom Quackenbush, mayor, encouraged people to apply, adding he is hopeful for a large pool of applicants to choose from when the window closes.

To learn more, residents are encouraged to stop by city hall or to visit the city Web site at ci.redwood-falls.mn.us.

In addition to hearing an update on the Ward 1 council member replacement process, the city council:

• Elected Matt Smith to serve as council president for 2019.

• Appointed John Buckley and Melissa Meyer to the Fire Relief Association Board of Trustees.

• Approved an application for a downtown commercial rehab loan from Jim and Joni Nieland who are in the second phase of renovating the commercial buildings at 120 and 126 East Second Street. The proposed renovation includes the replacement of exterior windows.

The cost of the eligible improvements is $30,712, with the request for $10,273 in a low-interest loan and $10,237 in a forgivable loan from the downtown commercial rehabilitation revolving loan program. A match of $10,237 will come from the Nielands for the rehab project.

According to Muetzel, the approval means the revolving loan fund essentially has a zero balance, adding the city council may want to consider its options, including the potential of adding more dollars to the fund, for the future.

• Approved an upgrade to the exchange server and e-mail system for the city.

According to Meyer, that system is currently shared with the Redwood Area Hospital, but due to the separation of the two entities the system can no longer exist on the hospital infrastructure. Meyer added the current system is in a failing, fragile state and is in need of replacement.

Meyer said the city had options to consider, including using the “cloud” to meet these needs or to build an exchange server in a hyper-v environment. Meyer said the second option is less expensive. The hyper-v option is a virtual server with physical components, added Meyer.

A bid submitted by Thriveon Information and Technology of $29,474.50 was recommended, which includes software and licensing as well as professional services implementation. The cost also includes $100 a month for e-mail encryption, but Meyer said the city feels more people will need that encryption capability bringing that cost up to $150 per month.

• Conducted the oath of office for new mayor Tom Quackenbush and for returning council members Larry Arentson, who represents Ward 3, and Jim Sandgren, who serves as an at-large member for the council who were all elected in 2018.