September 14, 2006 at 7:14 a.m.
Roessler said 40 acres of the site are in the city already. He wondered if the delayed consolidation process between Wyoming city and the township was going to be a factor.
Mayor Sheldon Anderson said this area is not in the “contested” consolidation territory so he didn’t see any problem bringing the site in when Roessler petitions.
City Administrator Craig Mattson said until the land is brought into city jurisdiction it’s not proper for council to make any commitments.
City Attorney Tom Miller said a letter of intent is the next obvious step. This allows the city to spend funds related to this and recoup costs. Then, Miller said, the city can proceed to define needed projects, who pays for what, where the money comes from and any phasing issues.
Financing this will be a concern. City Engineer Mark Erichson said the new lighted intersection west of the freeway alone will run $250,000. “I want to make sure you are aware,” Erichson told council, “there are substantial costs associated with this plan.”
Part of the master plan shows a new light on #22 west of the Village Inn. The gravel road that fronts the freeway side of the Thrift Store and veterinary business would be vacated, and re-routed behind those buildings and the Village Inn. The new south leg of the four-way intersection (Kettle River) would wrap around the south side of Citgo and McDonalds and join the new intersection.
Miller and city hall staff will work with the developer on the letter of intent and report back on annexation.
Council also clarified the police chief situation.
Citizen Jean Will asked during public comment last week if the special meeting (Aug. 31 when the vote passed to search for chief candidates) would be “withdrawn.” She stated the meeting was “illegal” and the vote minus two council members not at the hastily-called meeting should also be illegal.
Attorney Miller said in the eyes of the law if the council “made a good faith effort” to conform with Open Meeting Law a special meeting and any action aren’t necessarily void.
Council, however, stated last week the city has stopped all measures to solicit police chief applicants. Mayor Anderson said it was his understanding after the last regular council discussion that this search “is off until the merger is complete.”
Council voted 3-2 to accept a preliminary 2007 levy.
Mayor Anderson and Council member Tom LaBarre opposed. Anderson expressed his “disappointment” with the budget increase presented by staff. He didn’t like how it was prepared and he was concerned he’d just received the paperwork that night. LaBarre said “It’s got to be trimmed.”
The action only sets a maximum for the levy and between now and December the levy will be fine-tuned. The total adopted last week may be reduced but can not be increased.
City Administrator Mattson commented he “doesn’t get too worried” about the prelim budget levy. He added council’s got to begin adopting “actual” budgets and avoid overspending as “...history seems to demonstrate here.”
Mattson, new as administrator in Wyoming, reminded council his other cities were all in far-improved financial shape, with healthy balances, when he left other administrative posts.
Voting to adopt the levy Council member Blake Tiedeman said, “It is a god challenge and a chance to work together.”
Audience members asked about continuing costs of the consolidation appeal. Mattson said there is funding built into the budget for that but he doesn’t think the appeals will “rise to the level” of other controversial, lengthy boundary disputes such as in Forest Lake. The administrator said the $45,000 in the budget is a, “high...I am optimistic the appeal will never rise to the extent others have.”
The preliminary levy in 2007 was set for $1.8 million. The levy as it stands is a 10 percent increase. The Truth in Taxation hearing is December 4 at 6 p.m. The final budget would need to be adopted December 19.
Council also rejected the two bids for the generator work at the Railroad Lift Station and will re-connect with electric firms and re-bid the project. The two bids were over the estimated $50,000 for the project.
The re-bidding will delay the work by a month or so, council was told.