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September 26, 2022

8/12/2022 11:00:00 AM
Taylors Falls sidewalk project moving ahead; THC products need review

Taylors Falls Council is finishing up the sidewalk project on the hill on First Street this summer. Two quotes were awarded on a vote of 3-1 for cement replacement and 600 feet of custom railing work, with Council member Troy Aanonsen opposed.  He said the work “can wait.”  Council member Larry Julik Heine was absent.

Council member Mary Jo Murphy said she’d rather pay now to repair and replace, then pay later when somebody falls or makes a claim against the city when the railing gives-way.

Council member Ross Rivard said the projects include disability access improvements.  The Public Works Supervisor recommends doing the projects because of deterioration of the materials. Mike Kriz presented the quotes for Rivard to bring to the council.  The $50,313 for sidewalk went to Lawrence Creek Contracting, with a railing quote from another company the city has worked with doing railings for about the same amount.

Vacation Rental By Owner or “AirBnB” conditional use permits were approved unanimously for two addresses. The city planning commission recommended approval for 418 West Street and 855 River Street.  Applicants were in the audience but council posed no questions and all the elected officials said this is great for the city.

Council also directed review of THC retail practices,  to the city planning commission.  

The legislature has set some rules in place, effective this summer,  limiting hemp-derived THC content of edibles, etc. and setting other packaging standards which have had the net effect of broadening the availability and marketing of these items.

The Taylors Falls Planning Commission will hold the public hearing necessary to establish a one-year moratorium on applications for THC sales. The hearing date is not yet scheduled.  While a moratorium is in place the city will have time to revise or adopt ordinances for the products.

Council member Murphy voted no on having planning do a review, saying she doesn’t support allowing any outlet for these substances.

Wannigan Days organizer Lynn Longnecker gave a wrap-up report and said the town celebration went very well. Longnecker is stepping down after coordinating the event for the past few years with Sandra Berg and a committee. He thanked donors and volunteers, sheriff personnel, Lions members, CERT volunteers, the fire department and town officials  and said city staff had the city looking good before during and immediately after the celebration.

During open mic, Pastor Kevin Schumann complained that the city telephone message still has the former clerk listed as a contact,  and he said he came by city hall one time and it was closed.

Taylors Falls recently replaced the city clerk/treasurer and office hours are being adjusted as incomplete necessary tasks are taking priority, before doors open for walk-in assistance. The new Clerk is Mary Tomnitz, who attended the council session this week.  

Mayor Mike Buchite asked people to be patient during this transition.  

Also— the city inspector retired and for the last few months Chisago County has had building permit responsibilities. If you want a permit for any construction activity contact Environmental Services and Planning and Zoning at the county government center.

And, Public Works employee Paul Stenger has earned a water certificate and “aced’ the exam, council heard. He was granted a $1.50 hourly wage hike as part of the practice of incentivizing training.

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