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July 18, 2019

6/27/2019 3:51:00 PM
Lindstrom could do millions in projects if money wasn't an issue

The engineering firm for the city of Lindstrom, MSA, has been developing details for two large land areas needing major work,  and last week MSA’s Jon Herdegen presented the city council with what could be millions of dollars in projects, if Lindstrom undertakes everything identified.

The Mentzer Trail-Melody Lane region on South Lindstrom Lake (including a large undeveloped ag parcel)  and an extensive urban area radiating out from Lions Park, have chronic issues the city would like addressed.

Mentzer Trail’s sewer, water and street improvement feasibility report carries a maximum pricetag of $4.7 million, but it’s doubtful the whole slate of projects will be approved.  

Engineer Herdegen asked to have council agree to schedule a Mentzer Trail neighborhood meeting in July.  There are 58 parcels (51 determined to be assessable)  that could be involved in an assessment process.  The input would help in finalizing the draft engineering review.  Township officials also have to be approached for an orderly annexation agreement,  as many parcels in the project area remain in Chisago Lake Township.

Lindstrom is reviewing this due mainly to non-compliant or reportedly failing holding tanks and sewer systems affecting the lake. Unmet standard seperation of sewer to drinking water supplies has also long been a concern.  
Besides being an investment in water quality extending services is also an investment the city is making so future growth on the farmland is more attractive, staff explained. (New dwellings would pay to hook up.)

Herdegen said there are outside funding sources that will pay for pollution control aspects of this work. Grants for environmental  protection and drinking water projects are also available-- and his aim is to apply for all the financial assistance possible.  

Meanwhile, the urban flooding and malfunctioning stormwater system in-town, including Lions Park pond, revolve around six sub-projects that can be done individually or combined, Herdegen explained.  

The six could be phased over three years and cost $1.3 million.  They are: Sylvan Avenue reconstruction, Lions Park pond outlet, backyard swale re-grading, stormsewer at Olinda and Sylvan, Broadway Street reconstrucion, and Newell Avenue and Elm reconstruction.

Herdegen showed still images from televised (video) segments of the interiors of the corrugated and cement pipes underground and said they show a “surprising amount of sedimentation” blocking drainage function.  There was no motion made, but council agreed to have engineering continue to study this and report back.

Rose Hill TIF
The request for Tax Increment Financing for Rose Hill Senior Living took a step forward.  
The boundary of the city’s existing TIF district was adjusted on a 4-1 vote to include two redevelopment parcels on the northwest shore of South Lindstrom.  Council member Waldoch was opposed.

The district is calculated to present over its life a maximum $9 million in re-directed increment, but the actual financing that is returned to the developer to assist in the project won’t be finalized until the TIF agreement is adopted, likely in July.

Other parameters the council established last week include the TIF can run no longer than 26 years.  The special taxing district includes the old RoseHill resort area where an 87 unit senior housing complex is being built-- plus the lot sitting on the south edge of Highway 8,  that the developer plans to sell.

Zoning variances to make accomodations for a new house proposed on Norway Avenue,  and a setback variance for a deck at an address on 315th Street,  and allowing a self-storage facility to expand,  were all okayed.

The request by Scott Johnson (Norway Ave.) to be allowed to exceed the impervious maximum by using permeable pavers did not get Council member Waldoch’s support. The council member sought a legal mechanism for the city to somehow revoke the variance should the permeable paver maintenance not be kept up in later years.  The benefit of installing the porous system can be negated without properly maintaining the system.  But, city legal counsel said there’s no tool right now for the city to legally penalize a future owner who fails to maintain the materials.

And, one more item Waldoch cast the lone no vote on was “summer hours” at city hall.  Staff were authorized to transition until September, ending the work week at noon Fridays.  They will start a little earlier Monday through Thursdays. Regular hours for municipal bar and liquor store employees and for police were unchanged.

There is a special work session to go over a host of pending business items like reviewing the public facilities group’s recommendations and the budget.

The session starts at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 16 at city hall.

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