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May 17, 2021

4/16/2021 12:06:00 PM
Council approves street repairs; public hearing next step on borrowing

With a heavy thunderstorm rumbling in the background, Center City Council, minus members Donna Higgins and Ryan Pease, tackled a couple hours’ worth of business last week.  

Council announced there has been an offer accepted by a preferred finalist for clerk to succeed Norma Anderson, who is leaving in a little over a month.  Valerie Fox will begin training in as of this week.

Council heard that  long-festering issues with A T & T connected to cell phone antennae atop the water tower, have been resolved.  The city attorney reported the company is anxious to get on site to re-arrange and replace some communications network devices.  The city has been paid its requested deposit and a third party load analysis for the project is complete.  Attorney Ted Alliegro said activity on and around the tower should be observed any day.

SealTech got the quote for repairing rough bituminous areas, where the street was torn up for watermain repairs over winter. A couple manholes with rims that catch snowplow blades, etc. will be addressed with asphalt blending as well.  
The quote for the work was $6,150.

The council will interview for hiring a seasonal part time worker just prior to the Board of Equalization and Appeal at city hall, April 22.  The hearing for addressing your property tax valuations for next year is at 6 p.m., at city hall, and the interviews will be around 4:30.  One applicant had come forward as of last week.

The cabin on South Center Lake, visible from Highway 8,  which has been lifted and sits several feet off the ground,  is  the topic of discussion about town, and apparently also among building officials.  The question is allowing installing pilings versus foundation.  The city and county are assessing code and the situation.

A Conditional Use Permit was approved 3-0 for the mall’s new owner to install LED signage for each unit in the newly-named Lake Shop (formerly Swedish Village Mall.). The units will be remodelled to have their own door direct to the outside and most of the lengthy public hallway is disappearing. The signs are being placed near the front overhang, and are fairly small, lettering is no more than 12 inches.

There will be a public hearing date set (unknown last week) for going over a plan for borrowing to refinance the fire hall and purchase breathing apparatus.  The council had some numbers from the Rural Water Fund, and discussed General Obligation Bonds for $661,000.  The breathing apparatus come to $109,000 and $527,000 remains on the fire hall.  
The official useful life of firefighter air tanks is due to expire this fall.  

There is a truck being replaced that is 35 years old and has an iffy clutch right now. Chief Travis Greene reminded council it could be a year for a new truck to arrive. The truck should be able to come out of a dedicated new vehicle account.

Greene presented a lease-purchase program offered through Custom Fire that he wants council to consider which keeps future payments to a controllable level.

Council will re-fund the debt on the fire hall, which was recently rebuilt, at the same time as this.

Watch for a public hearing notice on the bonding.

There was lengthy back and forth on a conceptual plan that ended with no action being taken.  The resident first has to actually submit an application.  

Pam Niemezycki wants to do a legal redescription of her large parcel on North Center Lake,  next to the Government Center.  She feels if the city will vacate platted street right-of-way that crosses the site she can carve out three buildable lots (a house currently is there as well). She was accompanied by a surveyor from Widseth, Kelly Connor, who measured the possible plat.

Various ideas were thrown out, such as trading footage from one side of the parcel to the city for maintaining a sliver of public lake access.  Attorney Alliegro said a vacate request usually can only be approved when it serves the interests of the residents of the city.  Holding a public hearing is mandatory.  The Dept. of Natural Resources will have a chance for input due to lakeshore being involved.

Council seemed excited about getting new houses out of the proposal, but left it up to the parcel owner to submit an application for starting the right-of-way vacation process.


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