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April 21, 2021

3/5/2021 10:45:00 AM
Chisago City makes second bid for state funds to rebuild North Avenue; Frankie's boat sales expansion approved

Chisago City will try again to win grant funds from the State of Minnesota to rebuild North Avenue. In 2017, the city made its first attempt to earn a share of Local Road Improvement Project funding for North Avenue, but came up empty-handed. No local road improvement grants were allocated by the state in biennium the following. Now LRIP funding is available once again. The city will seek $1 million for the $1.6 million project to rebuild the road that is deteriorating badly.

City Administrator John Pechman said they have bolstered the grant application with additional data and letters of support. North Avenue extends from Lofton Ave. in Chisago City to County Road 14 in Lindstrom and is considered a major collector serving approximately 30 businesses.

In other business, the council:
-  Approved both the preliminary plat and final plat for a minor subdivision at 29288 Old Towne Road requested by property co-owner Mary Berg. The property is the site of a twin home that faces Old Towne Road.  When the property was initially developed in 1998, a second twin home had been proposed facing Stinson Ave. but was never built. The owners reverted to an original property description in requesting a minor subdivision for three lots on the .88 acre site. One lot contains the existing twin home and two lots meet city zoning requirements for single family dwellings. Owners report having no plan to develop the new lots at this time. They will be expected to pay required park and trail fees for the two new lots and to go through the city’s normal development process when the lots are developed.

- approved the design review for an addition to Lakes Area Roofing at 10425 Liberty Lane. The addition was approved with four conditions; site must stay within the 70 percent impervious surface maximum, landscaping is required on the side of the new building, windows and/or a door must be added to the side of the building that faces Liberty Lane, and applicant Gene Hollister, must acquire a building permit prior to construction.

- approved the design review for an addition to the marine show room and office at Frankie’s Marine, 10680 South Ave. The 5,117-foot addition will be a continuation of the existing showroom building. The bait shop will also move into the building. The new building will be placed on existing asphalt.

In considering the requested building addition, the city reminded Dusenka of an item from a previous conditional use permit on his Berglund Ave. property that remains incomplete. The permit allowed outside storage of boats in a fenced area and required the lot be paved by 2018. This deadline was later extended to 2020 but the lot is not paved.  Dusenka told the council, “Year before last I put four inches of regrind in (that lot) and compacted it.” Mayor Bob Gustafson told Dusenka the city would take a look at it to see if it fulfilled the requirement.

“Whatever you guys want, I’ll do,” Dusenka reassured the council.

- renewed the annual peddler’s permit requested by Shawn Dunne for Captain Shawn’s Boat Rental at Russell Park Beach, on Aldrid Avenue. The commercial use of the public property makes the property taxable at a rate of $1,500 a year. Dunne agrees to pay the property tax as well as the peddler’s fee.

- voted unanimously to allow a bride-to-be to reschedule her wedding and reception at Ki-Chi-Saga Park from July of this year to June 2022 because of Covid-19 travel restrictions. The groom comes from the United Kingdom, as does his family. They will not be able to come to the US this July due to Britain’s current international travel ban.

- accepted a gift of $1,000 to the Ojiketa volunteers known as the OWLLS from Jeanne Miller, and $100 gift from by OWLLS leader Bill Mack in memory of past Chisago City mayor, Frank Dusenka, Sr., to be used for city parks. OWLLS stands for Ojiketa Wednesday Laughs, Lunch and Service.

- voted to authorize $12,400 in charitable gambling proceeds to be used for city volunteer recognition ($2,500), Ki-Chi-Sago Days fireworks ($7,000), the children’s water festival ($2,000) and the volunteer fire department steak fry ($900). Under state law the city receives 10 percent of the proceeds of charitable gambling operated by the Chisago City Fire Relief Association and Lakes Area Recreation Association. Individual cities decide to collect the city share or not.

- reviewed all outstanding conditional and interim use permits to determine if conditions placed on the permits were being met. The report prepared by Associate Planner Courtney Wiekert detailed all of the conditions placed on the more than 55 permits and found most to be in compliance.

Two issues were found. These included failure to blacktop an outdoor boat storage area at Frankie’s Marine, and the fact that an interim use permit (IUP) for outside auto sales is no longer needed at 11217 Lake Blvd. because  A-1 Auto Sales has closed. Interim Use Permits are issued to the business, not to the property and terminate when the business closes. A public hearing necessary to rescind the A-1 Auto Sales permit is scheduled for March 23.

- at the urging of City Administrator Pechman, a sewer and water rate study proposed in August 2020 and then postponed to January will move forward as a joint effort between City Engineer Ryan Goodman of Bolton & Menk, Inc., and the city accounting firm of Abdo, Abdo, Eick & Myer. Pechman said he would like to see a sewer and water rate study done from both the engineering side and the finance side of providing those services. The council concurred. A scope for their work will be prepared for the next meeting.

- Set the annual Board of Review for 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 28. Pechman said it is not yet known if the Board of Review will be virtual or in-person.

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