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home : news : news August 23, 2017

6/15/2017 4:22:00 PM
Shafer City Council approves first road construction payout, discuss solar sunscription

Shafer City Council met June 6 for a regular meeting. All members were present with city attorney Ted Alliegro absent.

The council then opened the floor for a public hearing on hydrant meter rental deposit fees.  The city has proposed charging for extra water usage that would require tapping city hydrants.  No one spoke during the hearing so the council closed the public hearing.  

The council then quickly moved to consent agenda which passed unanimously.

Peter Schmitt of US Solar then addressed the council.  Schmitt was there to explain the benefits of Shafer potentially signing up for a partnership in one of the many local solar gardens.  Schmitt  showed the savings over a 25 year span in which Shafer would lock into today’s energy prices.  Over the 25 years total savings projected to the city would total $412,172.  Schmitt was quick to point out that there is no up front costs to Shafer.  Schmitt described the “sunscription” as a coupon. The city would get the Xcel Energy monthly bill which would be adjusted by how much energy the sun garden produced. In turn, the city would also send a payment to US Solar at the reduced cost proposed, thus the savings between the Xcel bill and the bill to US Solar would be direct savings to the city.  

In the first year the city would save $411, but in the fifth year savings would increase to $1,900 and at years 21-25 the savings would reach as high as $49,403 per year.  

Schmitt told the council US Solar currently has 10 future projects in Chisago County that are either under construction or are planned.

Schmitt’s presentation was met with a warm reception the only caveat being the billing as stated right now is net 20 days. City clerk Joan Ciesler asked if Schmitt could change the proposal to bill net 30 because that is how Shafer pays its bills. Schmitt agreed to look into the matter and check back soon.

The council then had a brief discussion about their first July meeting which is slated to fall on July 4.  The council agreed to hold the meeting on July 3 at 7 p.m.

In unfinished business, city engineer Lucas Olson told the council he would like approval for the first construction payout of $158,197.88. The price reflects roughly 20 percent of the total job.  Mayor Dan Vogel then made a motion to pay the first payout which passed unanimously.

Olson then explained three change orders that are in need of the council’s attention. The first change order is part of 303rd street where the soil is wet and sinking.  Olson said he would like permission to install a textile fabric designed to stop sagging and keep moisture away.  Total cost for the fabric and installation is $21,375.  

The second change order Olson referred to was the need for a hydrant extension on the corner of 303rd Street and Ridgewood Avenue North.  Total cost of the extension would run $2,497.  

The final change order Olson recommended was adding drain tile along 302 nd Street and Ridgewood Avenue North.  Olson told the council these areas appear to hold water more than other areas and a drain tile would alleviate any water issues. Total cost of drain tile installed is $2,375.  Mayor Vogel then made a motion to approve all change orders. The motion passed unanimously.

The council then discussed a proposal by the ordinance committee. The ordinance, presented by Council member Jeff Behnke, would prohibit certain animals such as chickens and roosters on any lot less than 5 acres.  City clerk Ciesler told the council she was aware of three residents that were keeping chickens without obtaining a yearly permit.  Council member Patty Mattson told the council the reason the council allowed chicken keeping in the past was to make the city more friendly and appealing to residents and she was most definitely against changing the ordinance to prohibit chickens.  Mayor Vogel agreed with Mattson. With that, Councilmember Behnke made a motion to adopt the ordinance change. His motion was not met with a second and died.

The council adjourned at 8  p.m.

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AnnMarie Brink - US Bank

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