2/19/2021 10:41:00 AM Stacy City Council stays busy in Covid-19, subzero times
Stacy City Council met February 9 for a regular meeting. Council member Tony Olivolo was absent. The Press learned Olivolo passed away the following day.
The council began by hearing from City Attorney James Monge who discussed a proposed peddler ordinance. Monge told the council he had questions about the wording. As it stands, there is no application deadline required for a peddler license prior to issuance. City clerk Sharon Payne told the council seven days was enough time to do a background check. The council agreed to post the amendment and pass the wording at the March meeting.
Monge then discussed a bid by MediaUSA for a digital message board lease. Monge told the council he had issues with six points on the contract proposal all of which benefit MediaUSA and not the city, such as breach of contract, and arbitration locations. Mayor Mark Utecht agreed the contract did not favor the city and opens the city to risk. Utecht told On-Sale manager John Wicklander to seek out other digital board companies to find more favorable contracts.
The council then discussed a letter from resident James Kutala whose property was ordered to be abated of clutter. Kutala said in the letter he believed he met the requirements of the city and asked for the judgment to be dropped. Mayor Utecht said he was not in favor and would prefer the court to decide that. Utecht told the council that Kultala has actually amassed more clutter since the order. Monge told the council Kutala was presented with the order January 28 and has 20 days to clean his property. If not, on February 18 he would face a court hearing. The council was in agreement to proceed.
The council then agreed unanimously to lift a no-trespass order filed against a former council member. “Now that this person is no longer on the council, I feel this is a non-issue” Utecht said.
The council then passed a amended final bill to the Stacy Retail Center and its owner Jeff Hensel for the cost of a CUP and proceedings for a potential customer that has since walked away from leasing a spot in the building. The final bill was lowered to $4,252 and the council passed unanimously.
In the engineer’s report, City Engineer Dan Boyum told the council he wanted to know if the city would like a special cost benefit analysis on the 307th street utilities project. Utecht said he would be in favor and that analysis shows property owners the improvements will directly improve their property value equal to or greater than the assessment by the city. All council members were in favor of the analysis.
The council also agreed to do a special benefit analysis for the 311th Street storm sewer project. Boyum told the council he had bids for the project and the low bid of $2,296 by Ritter & Ritter Sewer. If the analysis gets done soon the project could still be completed in February.
The city then briefly discussed replacing the city plow. Mayor Utecht told the council the plow moldboard is getting worn out and will need to be replaced. Utecht told the council the city had been discussing replacing the entire plow truck in the past and his suggestion was to have the maintenance department get pricing on a new plow. Council member Tim Sawatzsky said he would like to see the search process begin to see what the cost to the city would be.
Utecht told the council it most likely won’t be purchased this year because the rough estimate of $200,000 was not budgeted. Utecht added that if a “crazy good deal” came along, the city could discuss adjusting the budget.
The council then heard from Chisago County HRA/EDA Director Nancy Hoffman via the phone. Hoffman was calling with her support of tax abatement for the company All Mac Inc. which is trying to buy and build on the old BP gas station site along Stacy Trail and Highway 35. Hoffman told the council the costs of construction came in a lot higher than anticipated. Hoffman told the council the county would approve abatement of $25,000 for their portion leaving Stacy with city tax abatement of $12,500. The council agreed to hold a public hearing March 9 to discuss the abatement. The council also scheduled an informal meeting with Hoffman to get the council up to speed with exactly what tax abatement is and how it affects the city.