November 16, 2023 at 1:31 p.m.

Shafer Council looks at private street acceptance; awards HVAC quote


By MATT SILVER | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment
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Shafer City Council met November 6 for a regular Council meeting. All members were present.  

The council heard from Bill Schroeder of Revere Avenue. Schroeder was there as a continuing inquiry about Shafer assuming control of the streets in the development along Revere Avenue. Currently the street is plowed and maintained by the HOA of the development.  Initial costs from the city for inspections, variances and legal fees would start at $17,000 to be paid by the homeowners. 

City attorney James Monge told Schroeder all of the homeowners must sign off on the agreement.  If one refuses the deal is off.  

City engineer Lucas Jones told Schroeder the current sprinkler system would have to be capped and if a homeowner wanted outside irrigation they would need to install a new one attached to their water system.

Schoreder thanked the city for all of their hard work and for their communication with the group of homeowners.  He said he would take the info back to the homeowners to discuss more. 

The council then passed an ordinance allowing liquor license renewals for Shafer Pump ‘N Munch, Sprouting Out, Ole’s Crossroads, Patootie’s Shafer Saloon on the condition all paperwork is turned in on time.

City clerk Valerie Fox then told the council when staff were looking into setting the new water and sewer rates, the committee found some billing discrepancies from years past.  Engineer Jones told the council the city had not been using a multiplier for manufactured homes and duplexes, rather billing a straight $4.50 for water fees. The city should have been using a multiplier rather than the straight fee.  This would have potentially dropped the charge down to $1.30.

Attorney Monge added the farthest back the city would have to potentially reimburse would be six years.  If and when it comes to that, a resident that would have lived in one of the trailer parks or the apartments would need to submit a claim to the city. The council tabled the discussion so city clerk Fox could gather more back billing info.

The council then discussed the same billing situation for stormwater fees.  Engineer Jones said the fees refunded would come out of the stormwater fee account and shouldn’t affect the current levy.

Clerk Fox then told the council the committee had also found the city had been (years ago) charging sales tax for an apartment building and three other businesses.  Attorney Monge added sales tax paid in the past would have to be refunded by the state.  Minimum amount owed for submitting a claim is $500.  The council agreed to table all three items for more discussion.

Clerk Fox then told the council the city had been contacted by the last holdout residence to get a new meter installed. Fox said the homeowner asked for the water to be turned back on.  Fox said she told the resident a new meter would have to be installed before turning the water back on and the resident told her to “forget it”.

In the maintenance report supervisor Dan Cooper told the council that he had received three updated HVAC quotes for the maintenance building.  The quotes are for furnace and air conditioning units.  The council ended up going with Scandia Heat which is for a Trane system for $10,300.  The council approved the purchase unanimously.  

Cooper then told the council he had a final cost to install an electric vehicle charging station at the trailhead.  Xcel’s charge to the city for underground and labor would come to $7,800.  Actual charging units would run the city $11,000.  Council member Nick Brehm asked “What if we build them and they don’t get used?” Neither Cooper nor any council members had an answer.  The council agreed to have Cooper reach out to the city of North Branch who has an EV Station near the Sunrise Prairie Trail.  

Clerk Fox reported the bank building in town has sold.

Fox then said 144 utility late letters were mailed. She reminded the council services will not be turned off in the winter.

Council adjourned at 6:53 p.m.


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