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December 16, 2018

5/11/2018 11:11:00 AM
Center City Council gets request to take over private road and fire hall update

There has been an informal request from Calendar Isle, in Center City, asking the city to takeover the neighborhood’s street system.  The private roadway includes a causeway, that connects the “island” to the Pleasant Knoll-Hwy 8 area,  and council voiced concerns about the condition of this and wanted more information about standards to which the streets are built as well.

Center City Public Works Supervisor Eric Garner mentioned he too has things he’d like to discuss before the city formally considers accepting the streets.
No homeowners’ association representative attended  last week’s council meeting.

Council consensus was to wait for the matter to be pursued.  There’s only a casual inquiry now that was e mailed to the mayor.  

The city engineer provided a quick list of a number of expenditures the neighborhood would have to cover first,  for engineering evaluations that the city would require before accepting streets.  These potentially involve several thousand dollars for a paving analysis, a culvert condition assessment, shoreline stablization needs and more.

Longtime Council member Mark Wolcott commented that when Calendar Isle was developed there were special considerations in the private-public agreement concerning things like “park space” and what is considered public and what is not, and sewer and water operations and maintenance.  He cautioned that taking over homeowners association assets in this case is “not simple.”

On the fire hall project, council heard that the inside demolition is moving along.  The concrete will be broken up next, anticipating that bids will be finalized for a host of trades services and materials the council has reviewed.  Staff is now working to keep costs contained approximately within the $500,000 project threshold. Bid awards will be public when the contracts are final, staff reported.  

The bond sale (loan) was not contested by taxpayers during a reverse referendum window that has expired, so the $555,000 the city is borrowing is in the bank.

Council did not act on a policy guiding use of the new fitness room at the fire hall, as the city is awaiting more information from the fire department about sample policy wording from other cities that allow non-firefighters to use workout facilities.  The ordinance subcommittee is reviewing and drafting the fitness room use policy-- it meets next May 10.

In other business:
The city awarded a rain garden project to Shoreline Landscaping, Chisago City,  for $13,251. It was the low submittal of two companies that provided quotes.  The rain garden will collect stormwater nearby city hall along the Center Avenue side.  
The county Soil & Water Conservation District funds rain garden installations as part of a watershedwide water quality program, and designs the sites and reimburses the city.
~ Council also donated their May per diems for flower baskets and planters.

~ The “viper switch” pole and contraption it would hold, proposed to be located in downtown, will be relocated, public works supervisor Garner reported.  The electric equipment was viewed as unsightly and he said the power company was agreeable to a new location.

~ County Board candidate Chris DuBose used open microphone to introduce himself and chat with council briefly.

~ Council member Lloyd   Vetter will be the city’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon liaison and attend the June meeting of the group. The kick-off April meeting had been cancelled because of a snowstorm.

~ A manager at the Go Boat Motel had asked about using the city shore at Grand Avenue and Hwy 8 for a dock.  Council opted to get more details and took no action.  In the past there was a small dock there, as a public-private partnership,  when the frozen yogurt and ice cream shop was operational.

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