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April 24, 2019

3/21/2019 2:25:00 PM
Street overlays and Willow Grove agreement acted on at North Branch City Council

At the regular March 12 North Branch City Council meeting the application from Stacey Wynter for a permit to offer massage therapy, at a spa called Laughing Waters,  at 38880 Oakview,  was approved 3-0. Mayor Jim Swenson and Joel McPherson were absent.  

The Tax Increment Financing agreement with Willow Grove North Branch Limited Partnership, was approved.  The “increment” to be captured and reimbursed to the developers of a new housing facility is not to exceed $306,176.  The TIF is supported by using the increase in property tax coming off the new site.

Willow Grove is 20 one-bedroom units, on currently empty land at the end of 14th.  It is meant to combat homelessness among persons with mental health issues, in the east central Minnesota social services system.  They are assessed for their ability to benefit from on-site assistance with managing their care and counseling.

The city is also extending 14th to access this development-- and to cleanup property lines at Olson Power & Implement, council will need to vacate city ownership of a triangle of land that has been part of a dead-end turnaround (see graphic.)

In other business: resident Joe Sausen was appointed to fill an empty seat on the Parks, Trails & Open Space committee.  

There’s still an opening on the Planning Commission and if you’d like to serve, contact North Branch city hall or see information on the website.
The three council members,  with Kelly Neider as Acting Mayor, also approved going out for bids when specifications are ready for overlay maintenance on a number of city streets this summer.  The bids would be opened May 21.  (See projects map.)

A temporary liquor license to hold an event at the senior center May 4 was authorized.

Council spent the public comment portion of the meeting listening to remarks supporting a concept to create a new park,  using donated land, with acquisition facilitated through the Trust for Public Land. The issue was scheduled for review in depth at the council’s work session Tuesday this week, with parks commission and other city leaders invited.

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