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May 24, 2019

4/18/2019 3:36:00 PM
Stacy City Council gets updates on hockey arena, bar and grill

Stacy City Council met April 9, for a regular meeting. All members were present except council member Rebecca LaMotte.  

There was a public hearing scheduled for the property owner of 30427 Forest Boulevard, James Kultala.  The property was assessed a violation for non-removal of public health and safety hazards from the property. The city hired Scrapbusters to abate the materials at a cost of $16,570 with the city costs coming in at an additional $5,362.  Kultala told the council he had not had a chance to speak to his attorney about repayment, and asked if the subject could be tabled until the next meeting. The council agreed, but clearly stated this would be the only extension granted.

North Branch Area Hockey Association president Craig Moline then addressed the council about the unfinished hockey arena.  Moline told the council the project has been significantly slowed due to working with Xcel Energy.  Moline said Xcel needs an exact load calculation which the association can't give until finished.  Moline said the cost for electrical is estimated at $40,000 to bring electric and gas to the building.  Moline said they hope to have the existing building closed in this summer. Council member Tony Olivolo pointed out the association promised an outdoor ice sheet prior to the building being completed.  Moline said the project needs electric even for an outdoor rink.  Council member Chuck Lucia told Moline "This project has been going on for eight years, when is  it going to be done? One year, two years?"   

Moline told the council that is has become increasingly more difficult to borrow money for commercial projects with banks requiring 35 percent cash up front.  Mayor Mark Utecht told Moline that he appreciated the efforts and  to keep the city informed on the project.

The council then heard from Dallas Nestvold who owns Revived Iron.  Nestvold is hoping to purchase a parcel of land in the industrial park that also has frontage along Forest Boulevard.  Nestvold asked the council if they would wiggle on their price of $1.60 per square foot for the property. Nestvold said he would like to see a market evaluation of the property.  Mayor Utecht told Nestvold the city would have a market appraisal done and compare that to the amount the city owes on the property and make a proposal to Nestvold.  Both sides agreed that would be fair.

The council then adopted a drug testing policy that city attorney Amy Schutt received from the League of Minnesota Cities.  The city had not had an policy in place prior.

Mayor Utecht told the council the city had received a resignation letter from council member Rebecca LaMotte.  The council moved unanimously to accept the resignation and began discussion on filing the vacant seat.  Schutt told the council they had a couple options, one being holding a special election and the other being appointing someone to fill that seat until either a special election or the next election.  

All members agreed that filling the seat was in the best interest of the city and they would wait until the next meeting when Schutt would look more into when or how long a special election would require.

The council then filled a couple of seats formerly occupied by LaMotte. Council member Olivolo will assume LaMotte's seat on the planning commission and Utecht will assume LaMotte's seat on the liquor operations committee.

New Stacy Bar and Grill manager John Wicklander then addressed the council.  Wicklander told the council he would like to advertise the bar on North Branch's new high school scoreboard.  Wicklander told the council there were many levels available on the sign from $2,000 to $6,000. Wicklander told the council he feels it's a great spot to highlight the bar with everyone in the stadium always looking at the scoreboard.  The council agreed to look at the contract and discuss more at the next meeting.  

Next, Wicklander asked the council for approval to hire “Shirts and Skins” band for Stacy Days. Wicklander said he was excited for “Shirts and Skins” because they are a great band and have a huge following which should bring more people to Stacy Days.  

The council then approved bank access for Wicklander and also approved a notification be sent to Michelle Hayes  every time Wicklander takes money out exceeding $10,000 to fill the atm at the bar.  Wicklander told the council the bar averages $10,000 in withdrawls on Fridays and around $5,000 for the rest or the week.

The council then adjourned at 8:55 pm.

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