The city of Fergus Falls approved a new director for the Fergus Falls Public Library Monday evening by welcoming Gail Hedstrom aboard.

Hedstrom will be replacing Erin Smith who has moved up to head the Viking Library System. She begins her new duties Sept. 16.

“Gail is an excellent addition to our team and brings decades of professional library experience,” City Administrator Andrew Bremseth said. “I am excited to see Gail’s vision put into practice within our new 21st century library.”

Hedstrom has been the director of the Thorson Memorial Library in Elbow Lake for the past 24 years.

“It’s good to be home, I grew up in Fergus Falls. My family continues to live here,” Hedstrom said. “I look forward to working with this staff in Fergus Falls, I know what they are capable of, I know how intelligent and hardworking they are.”

Hedstrom graduated from Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Indiana University and will be completing her master’s degree from St. John’s University in 2020.

The City Council also approved the hiring of Klara Beck as the new Community Development director.

Beck will not hold a department head position but she will be a full-time employee for the city.

Beck was most recently the executive director of the Kaddatz Galleries in Fergus Falls. Her duties included planning, organizing and community outreach.

In addition to experience with start-up companies, marketing for social media, website development and grant writing, Beck is a business collaborator and has close experience with community based projects.

“Klara’s passion for community engagement is clear, which closely aligns with the desire of both the city council and city staff,” Bremseth said. “Klara brings a strong understanding of the Fergus Falls community and is ready to make a difference.”

Beck graduated from Fergus Falls High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and religion from St. Olaf College.

Beck will start in her new position Sept. 3.

A motion directing City Attorney Rolf Nycklemoe to draft an amended rental registration ordinance was approved by a 6-1 vote.

Bremseth presented the council with an extensive set of new criteria Monday night. No less than 10 changes were proposed.

One of the top changes was that going forward all rental units will need a required inspection prior to registration. Units registered as a standard rental unit on Nov. 15, 2018 will be exempt from mandatory inspection. The exemption can be nullified by:

A call for service to the unit regarding a life safety issue and the unit fails an inspection.

The unit fails an inspection based on a complaint-generated inspection for code violations.

The unit fails an inspection based on a complaint-generated inspection from a tenant or neighbor.

The unit is visibly in need of substantial repair based on complaint or observation.

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