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December 11, 2019

11/29/2019 3:53:00 PM
Lindstrom Council halts 306th project; columbarium gets green light

The final engineering on  improvements in the area of 306th in Lindstrom (top of the South Lindstrom Lake bay) did not move forward, as city council members last week failed to approve the next step.  The engineering “feasibility” study was accepted earlier this fall.

The work is to be assessed based on linear feet of a parcel along 306th, and this needed to be a four-fifths vote to comply with the 429 assessment process.

This neighborhood is a mash-up of irregularly- shaped parcels, private wells, a zig-zag sewer line,  and a very narrow dead-end street that the city has attempted to upgrade to Lindstrom standards numerous times.

The vote to move ahead on plans and specs for sewer, water and a new street alignment failed 2-3, with only Mayor Kevin Stenson and Council member Bill Schlumbohm Sr. in support.  

The project, however, may not be dead (again) because council did vote 4-1 to direct staff to bring more information to a future meeting.  

Council member Laurie Burington expressed  the gaps she needed to fill in, such as how many parcels are now on city services in the work area, she asked.  How much will easement acquisition cost for a connection to LeHigh Avenue versus  an alternative plan with a cul-de-sac instead?  What is the level of support for this project among the affected property owners?

Council member David Waldoch was the lone no vote for more information.

Mayor Stenson commented that at one time this area was seasonal cabins in the township, and it’s only going to cost more to do the project if it’s delayed. “These are not cabins anymore and never will go back to that use,” Stenson declared. In the meantime the city has concerns: it can’t maintain old sewer line,  the street doesn’t get plowed all the way to the end, because 306th terminates at a private garage, with nowhere to turn around and other negatives.  

In other actions:
~ The Lindstrom Council also certified unpaid sewer and water accounts to property taxes to the tune of $71,650 total.  If (when) the property owner pays the county the bill for property tax, it disperses to a city  the amount individuals owe.

~ The columbarium committee that was tasked about six months ago with looking into adding a permanent kiosk to hold cremains at Fairview Cemetery, won approval of its recommended quote for the structure.  The Cold Spring company came in ahead of three firms reviewed.  

The columbarium (see photo) will have 80 niches, which have space for two urns or ash containers.

Lindstrom maintains a perpetual care fund for Fairview Cemetery generated from gavesite proceeds and will use $36,662 from this account to purchase the structure.  Cold Spring is a full service installation and also provides for the concrete foundation.  The project will start in spring 2020.

Fees to purchase a niche are still being developed by city staff along with the committee.

~ Municipal liquor manager Roxi Bluhm recommended Climate Pro to do work necessary on the walk-in cooler, saying this company provided the most complete quote of $26,000.  Council approved 5-0.

Also, the new license scanners to verify purchaser I.D. and card authenticity are working great. The muni store failed a compliance check recently, selling to an underaged buyer after an employee did the math on the birthdate incorrectly.  The scanner works on Wisconsin licenses, but will need some technical tweaking for other out-state cards, Bluhm added.

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