|9/26/2019 3:46:00 PM|
After being skipped for input, Wyoming votes to not split cost with Chisago City
Iris Avenue is a shared road between Wyoming and Chisago City, but after a resurfacing project that went forward without Wyoming’s input, the city doesn’t feel it should share the cost.
According to council members, Chisago City reached out to Wyoming about improving the uneven and bumpy road late last year that is about a 50/50 split between the two cities, and Wyoming was open to the idea. But, then Chisago City went forward with the project on the road without consulting Wyoming again.
Now, Chisago City submitted half of the $23,400 bill to Wyoming for payment, and council voted to not pay it because the option that was used was the most expensive, as City Engineer Mark Erichson said it wasn’t the process he would’ve advised using.
The road was micro-resurfaced, which Erichson said can be a great option for a road with divots and holes already existing, but the holes on this road had been filled in a previous improvement project. So the micro-resurfacing did improve the road, but left many bumps and what Wyoming feels is an uneven road.
Council Member Claire Luger asked why Chisago City didn’t reach out to Wyoming during the process. City Administrator Robb Linwood said that when he contacted Chisago City, they told him that things had gotten busy and they lost communication. He noted they told him it was an oversight on their end and the project came and went before the city could reach out to Wyoming.
Erichson did note that there is value to the work that was done, but said, “It just isn’t likely the option we would’ve moved forward with.”
Erichson looked at other options that he felt were a better fit for the problems on the road, and he estimated the cost would’ve been half of the $23,400 that was spent.
Council member Joe Zerwas said he drove on the road the week prior and that it was “terrible”.
According to Mayor Lisa Iverson, Chisago City has already paid the contractor in full, and then submitted a payment request to the city of Wyoming, but the council unanimously agreed they wouldn’t be paying that half.
Erichson ended by saying, “If we could’ve been in on the process, I would have no problem with this, but [Chisago City] skipped us completely.”
In public comment, resident John Salisbury brought up that he didn’t agree with the council’s decision to extend the Wyoming mayoral term from two years to four years.
Although complimentary of the job Mayor Iverson has done so far, Salisbury said he thought the decision voided the action 7,000 plus voters of Wyoming might have taken.
Linwood noted that the change would be reflected for the next mayoral election, and it was not extending the current mayor’s term from two years to four years. Salisbury still thought the decision should be put to a public vote, and not a council vote.
The council approved the preliminary tax levy for 2020 and set the Truth and Taxation meeting for December 3, 2019.
Wyoming’s finance director Hannah Lynch noted that the total preliminary tax levy would come in at just over $4.3 million, a 6.3 percent increase over 2019, but the tax rate would be 44.42 percent, a dip of 1.2 percent.
Joe Heidelberger was hired as the city’s new full time Building Inspector on a probational status.
The process for this position had been going on for almost a year, as the last inspector, Sabrina Gorr, didn’t stay in the position for long.
City Building Official Fred Weck is hopeful for Heidelberger. “This is the best candidate we’ve had in three rounds,” Weck said. He proceeded to state that Heidelberger currently works for the City of Chanhassen and has also worked with the City of Andover, as well as putting in 20 years in the trades.
The hiring was not unanimous. Council member Linda Nanko-Yeager has stated multiple times that she didn’t think the city needed to add this position, but the other four voting members approved the hire.
Heidelberger is scheduled to start October 7.
The city voted to proclaim October 1-7 as Manufacturer’s Week in the City of Wyoming.
The week will be highlighted by a career fair Thursday, October 3 at Splitrocks in Wyoming.
Linwood said there are quite a few local companies who are signed up for the career fair, and the event will feature speakers from DEED, as well as other organizations.
Mayor Iverson said, “I love this event, and it’s important that our residents know that you can have a great job in this city and don’t have to drive out of town. The quality of life is definitely here in Wyoming.”