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Afton council starts new year

It's a new year and a new City Council for Afton, who met for the first time at a special council meeting on Jan. 5 to make some necessary decisions before they could start serving the city.

Before the Council could even begin discussing the agenda, Mayor Pat Snyder and Council member Bill Palmquist had to first be welcomed into the Council by taking the oath of office.

The first major decision of the new year that mayor Snyder brought before the Council was changing the start time of the regular council meetings from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

This allows more time for residents to return home from work and not require them to rush in order to make the meeting, Snyder said.

Changing the start time of the Council meeting is just the beginning for the new Council, Snyder said she already has a list of different issues that she wants to tackle over the next two years, including road improvements, decreasing spending and increasing efficiency.

"The list is long and those are just a few of the items I hope to accomplish within the next two years," she said. "I consider it a great privilege to serve the city as mayor and I intend to work very hard to bring the community together. Our residents deserve responsive and responsible representation, and I intend to provide it to them."

Palmquist echoed Snyder's thoughts about getting the residents more involved in the decisions that effect them directly.

"If we can tap into that knowledge and expertise we will be much better able to handle the challenges confronting our community," Palmquist said.

"The challenge will be to get our house in order now, and start being proactive to ensure we are prepared for the changes that are coming, if we can do that, I am very confident we can preserve what is best about Afton."

The council met Jan. 13 for their goal setting meeting where they sat down and addressed their goals for this year and years to come.

"We will maintain our rural character in Afton and preserve our vast natural and scenic resources," Snyder said. "Development that takes place will be sensitive to the land, economically beneficial to our tax base and in conformance with both our comprehensive plan and ordinances."

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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