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November 18, 2018

3/1/2018 3:26:00 PM
Shafer City Council discusses finishing Shafer Oaks with builder; apartment sizes

Shafer City Council met February 20 for a regular meeting. All members were present.

The council held an open hearing to the public where Big Game Bar and Grill owner Dacia Menneguzzo addressed the council.  Menneguzzo was asking the council for a refund for the remainder of the year for her liquor license.  Menneguzzo is selling the bar to Joe Olson of Lindstrom, with a tentative transition of March 30.  The council later approved a liquor license for new owner Olson with the condition all paperwork will be completed and approved.  Added to the motion was Menneguzzo would then be re-imbursed.  The council approved the motion unanimously.

In new business, city engineer Jon Herdegen told the council he had looked at the last two years of data for the wastewater treatment and it was sitting right around 50 percent capacity.  Herdegen told the council that MPCA has a trigger that goes into effect when capacity reaches 85 percent which would equate to an additional 160 homes in Shafer.  Herdegen told the council he would like to at least have a plan set in the case new home building reaches the 160 number.  

Herdegen said the council could budget for a plan to be drawn up in 2019.  The council agreed to discuss this at later meetings.

Developer Alan Roessler, of Paxmar addressed the Council with Paxmar’s interest in completing the Shafer Oaks development. This would pick up where the development stalled out about 10 years ago. Paxmar is asking  to complete the project, and  Paxmar, would be willing to escrow the funds needed to complete the project.

Paxmar’s proposal is that the city engineer does tests and inspections to the improvements that are installed, to confirm the status and ensure they are  up to snuff and installed correctly.   

 The city engineer can finalize a punch list and cost estimate to complete the neighborhood as platted, and the project would be 100 percent complete and accepted. The city and Paxmar can then enter into an agreement where Paxmar pays for all of the costs associated with finalizing the development. Paxmar would then deposit all the funds with the city before the work began, then the city could let the bids, accept the bids and then the work could start.
“We’ve done this in a couple other communities with stalled-out developments. The main concern on Paxmar’s behalf would be that somebody else installed these improvements and we don’t feel it’s fair to make Paxmar responsible for those improvements” Roessler said.
Roessler was there to get a feel from the Council to see where it sat, and to see if this is something that the city would like to move forward with so they could potentially start building homes this summer in the development.

Mayor Vogel said his first reaction was not very favorable. Having given it a lot more thought Vogel said he is thinking it’s reasonable. He thinks the engineer needs to come up with a number and that it would be agreeable to Paxmar, and add 15 percent to that for contingency and that portion would be refundable if.

 Roessler said that would be completely acceptable.

Councilmember O’Connor said he wants to make sure that everything is itemized and the city’s interest are covered, have city attorney Ted Alliegro go over everything.

Roessler said they would work with staff to get the agreements together and back to Council.

The council then discussed a previous request by a business owner to allow ground floor apartments.  City attorney Ted Alliegro told the council most cities prohibit such a thing.  Alliegro told the council they now have an ordinance that requires apartment sizes to be at least 600 square feet (the request was for 375 square feet apartments).  Alliegro told the council the ordinance states that there must be 3 garage stalls for every four apartments.  The council agreed that with the ordinance, it just wasn’t possible.  Vogel made a recommendation to amend the ordinance.

 The council adjourned at 8:07 pm

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