8/22/2013 3:24:00 PM Council lays ground work for 2014; gets Hwy. 8 update
by DENISE MARTIN
The Lindstrom City Council approved a resolution supporting the borrowing proposed by the Chisago Lakes Joint Sewage Treatment Commission (CLJSTC). At the meeting August 15 the council voted 5-0 on Curt Flug’s motion approving the plan to borrow $816,000 from MN Rural Water Association. The commission wants to use funds for capital projects within the regional sewer system. Commission members include Stacy, Wyoming, Center City, Chisago City, a special south Center Lake Sanitary District and Lindstrom. Officials for all these will be asked to support the plan. The CLJSTC had debated inclusion of $300,000 into the borrowing plan for purchasing 80 acres adjacent to the treatment plant. Land acquisition has been eliminated from this loan package, Lindstrom council was told. Additionally the council talked about and adopted a list of city projects. The 2014 list is for budgeting purposes. Priority projects for the Lindstrom council include: ~ Undergrounding of powerlines in downtown in the area of the Xcel transmission line upgrade on First Avenue. Distribution lines connecting many businesses will be installed below ground. SEH engineers are revising drawings getting ready to do this next year, and there should be a good cost estimate this fall yet, said City Administrator John Olinger.
~ A retention pond for stormwater, in the area of Pleasant Hill Park, is a joint project with the county Soil and Water Conservation District. Lindstrom gets a $200,000 water quality project for a $20,000 share of the project budget.
~ Benches, bike racks, etc. along Highway 8. A downtown design committee will present final needs later.
~ Fixing the trail link near Lindstrom Foods and signage for the bike-walking trail that connects Chisago City and Lindstrom and which will eventually go to Taylors Falls.
~ Address an access issue along St. Croix Avenue in cooperation with new owners of the Dairy Queen. The narrow street south of the highway (from the township hall to the DQ) isn’t functioning properly.
~ Purchase and demo of the red Holmquist building on the south side of First. The city is working with the county HRA/EDA on the best methods to accomplish this.
~ There are also funds set aside for downtown building beautification needs, especially for structures that now have two “front doors” due to one ways on both sides. Olinger said the goal is also to create some “cohesiveness” for the downtown appearance. The city wants to fund a loan account of $15,000 overseen by the Lindstrom EDA for supporting improvement efforts. A special meeting was scheduled September 12 at 6:30 p.m. for council to review finance committee recommendations on the 2014 budget.
In other matters: council approved a lot split for Dan Gregg who is making two lots to the east side of Stonegate Mobile Home Community. City services will have to be brought into the new lot, next to the single family home, which already has services , and a parks donation assessment for the new lot is being collected ($2,500.)
~ The Soma residence driveway will be replaced (an issue from last council session) and council agreed to split it 50-50. Lindstrom will cover $1,250. Re-sculpting of the street drainage elevations left a steep drop where their driveway meets the new First Avenue. There was a “miscommunication” with the property owners on timing of their driveway improvement so sharing the cost to fix the situation was a compromise.
~ Council will contract with RISE Inc. for labor to keep-up downtown planting openings in the sidewalk this summer. The cost is $100 for all of downtown. RISE also provides cleaning at the community center. The highway project calls for plantstock in the sidewalk cut-outs, but there are delays getting some of the state’s final punch list items done. Council member Joe Wishy voted no, he felt the city public works staff should be doing this.
~ Whenever the state auditor determines there’s a funding shortfall in the firefighter relief fund, the city makes up the difference to fully-fund calculated payout liabilities. Lindstrom chips in $426 for this year’s shortage, approved 5-0.
~ Chief of Police Stenson got consensus to establish an eligibility list which will speed the process of replaceing an officer, who is a finalist for a post with the sheriff’s department. Ann Norgaard, of Chisago County Public Health, gave a presentation on the planning effort underway for county public health initiatives. She said she’ll be checking in with community contacts as the process continues. Student nurses are going to be doing surveys of certain areas in the county assessing their walkability and access to get groceries, etc. and public amenities promoting healthful past times. There’s also an emergency management component to the public health and human services comprehensive planning effort, and child protective services are being reviewed. City staff reported Rose Hill Resort is listed for sale following the death of owner Alan Davis. Davis had attended the last two council meetings trying to work out issues with his sanitary sewer system and resort operational needs. Council approved Rose Hill to be annexed into Lindstrom in order to connect city sewer/water lines. The property was granted permits through the county. But there were conditions on those permits that now, may or may not be relevant, depending on eventual use of the resort site on South Lindstrom Lake. The council agreed all the city can do is take a wait and see approach.