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June 26, 2019

5/23/2019 3:43:00 PM
Lindstrom ups bid threshold to $175,000 to give engineer flexibility

A couple bids for street reconstruction in Lindstrom came in well above estimates and left city officials to get creative.  One option was to raise the project minimum  requiring formal bids.  

Lindstrom City Council voted last week to align the city bid policy with the state limit of $175,000-- which was revised by law in 2018.

Lindstrom’s engineering firm then, presumably, gets more flexibility in collecting simple quotes for projects versus adhering to the formal bid process, which may lower costs a bit, said Engineer Jon Herdegen.

Cities still need two quotes and are required to keep the quote documentation for one year, within the threshhold of $25,000 to $175,000.  Projects expected to be less than $25,000 can be directly negotiated (MN statute 471.345.)

Herdegen said the city may want to wait on the private road rebuild at Lakeridge, until county projects on Olinda Trail in that vicinity get going next year and the county contractor could do the city project too.   Lindstrom is bringing Lakeridge up to standards, with all costs to be paid for by the private road Homeowners’ Association, and then it becomes a municipal street.  

The project of higher priority, which staff will keep working on, is extending services and paving gravel roadbed on north Olinda (by Allemansratt Park) for a dwelling scheduled to be built.

There were a couple hires approved by council; Laura Campbell and Amelia Espinoza (summer only) are going to work in administration. Lisa Roggenkamp submitted a letter of resignation effective last week.

And, an HRA vacancy was filled with the appointment of Patricia Kraft.

There was discussion about another personnel matter-- the building official-inspector duties.

Lindstrom contracts and doesn’t get the revenue now in the form of permits for building inspections plus site plan follow-through isn’t getting sufficient attention,  and city staff are also handling walk-in questions and code concerns.

Administrator John Olinger asked council, and they agreed,  to develop a job description and review   a position that could pay for itself and handle this zoning area.  He said 25 home-building permits annually would sustain the position. But, should construction activity fall below that, it would be an efficient use of hours if the job is combined as a code enforcement/GIS information position-- or an ideal situation is if a nearby city wants to cost-share the inspections and plan review hours of the position.

Council will review more details of the idea next month.

The stormwater analysis of run-off from Lions Park to Pleasant Hill is continuing.

No recommendations to resolve street flooding and yard innundation incidents along an open swale area, were presented last week.

The engineer did share that a good-sized sediment and debris blockage was cleaned out of the system.  Lions Park pond, however, may always be at the full level,  because the bottom elevation appears to be within “the water table” and will always hold water, council was advised.

In open microphone, a neighboring property to the dentist office on the south side of Highway 8 at County Road 14 asked about a dental office parking expansion. The dentist office already generates problem run-off and she had concern added parking would aggravate this.

Staff advised that part of this project includes new stormwater retention and management amenities, and  officials are aware of the excess water issue impacting neighbors. A completed design will be shown to adjoining property owners, Administrator Olinger said.

A public hearing was set for June 20, at city hall, during the regular council meeting to consider a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) request by the developers of RoseHill Senior Living Community.  

The hearing is required for modifying the existing district to include the former resort property, and adopting a TIF plan for the senior housing.  The dollar amount of public subsidy being sought is not being announced yet.

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