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Paynesville Press - January 19, 2005

City council kicks-off new year

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, Jan 12.

*New city council members Jeff Bertram and Tom Lindquist and mayor Jeff Thompson, who was elected for another term in November, were sworn in by city administrator Steve Helget. Bertram and Lindquist will serve four-year terms, and Thompson will service a two-year term.

*The council approved setting a public informational meeting for Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 7:30 p.m., regarding a proposed MnDOT project on Highway 23 in Paynesville. Public works director Ron Mergen told the council that MnDOT is planning to resurface the road from Paynesville to Richmond and to restripe the highway to include a center turn lane from Highway 55 to Stearns Avenue in Paynesville. (Highway 23 already has a center turn lane from Stearns Avenue to the east end of town.)

The project, done during regular maintenance work, would only use the existing paved roadway. From Stearns Avenue to Mill Street, Highway 23 is wide enough to restripe like it is through the rest of Paynesville. From Highway 55 to Mill Street, Highway 23 is narrower, which poses a problem in having space for two driving lanes, a center turn lane, and parking.

Options for this section of the project, as well as other questions about the project, will be addressed at the public hearing at Paynesville City Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 26. (See related story)

*The council approved ordering SEH to draw plans and specifications and advertise for bids for a spray-irrigation system at the city's waste treatment facility. Bids for the project will be opened on Wednesday, Feb. 16, according to city engineer Pete Carlson.

The project will include increasing the size of irrigation pipe and burying new pipe. Currently, the pipes are above ground. The estimated cost of the first phase of the project is $600,000. The original estimate for the project was $400,000, but Carlson was informed that the price of PVC pipe has greatly increased due to the rising cost of oil. If bids are too high, Carlson pointed out that the city has the right to reject the bids and plan the project for another time.

*The council also approved using money from the sewer reserve and the sewer cash balance fund to finance the irrigation pipe project.

*The council approved a route, proposed by the joint trail board, for the section of the Lake Koronis Recreational Trail from the city to the city beach and approved awarding trail engineering and planning services to SEH for $72,000 for this section of the trail. SEH's deal comes with the stipulation that they provide estimates at little or no cost for the next state grant application.

Both the route and the SEH bid must be approved by Paynesville Township under the terms of the joint powers agreement.

This trail section, as proposed, would start at Highway 55 and proceed down Burr Street on school property. It would go along the northern edge of the golf course and climb the hill behind the second green. Then it would go east on private property and turn south to reach Hillside Court, which is proposed to be a multi-purpose road (used by vehicles and pedestrians).

The trail would then go south along Hillside Road to Koronis Drive where it would turn east and would follow Co. Rd. 181 on private property. The trail would cross Co. Rd. 181 onto the Peterson family property, south of horse barns, and would proceed south to Cherrywood Road, which also would be a multi-purpose road (unless the federal grant requires that a separate trail be built in the road right-of-way on Hillside Court and Cherrywood Road). The trail would then go east on Cherrywood Road and back onto Peterson property to connect with the existing trail on Old Lake Road.

An estimated $326,486 is needed to complete this section of the trail, to connect the city to the city beach. Of that, a federal grant would cover 80 percent, or $261,189. The local match would be 20 percent, or $65,297.

*The council approved hiring a group of skydivers from Litchfield to perform at a fly-in at the Paynesville Municipal Airport for $1,500. This year's fly-in is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 21.

*The council approved appointing council member Dennis Zimmer-man as acting mayor as part of their annual reorganization. Zimmerman will act as mayor if mayor Jeff Thompson is absent from a meeting or can't perform his duties for any reason.

*The council approved committee appointments for 2004:

Ad Hoc Kruger Lake Nature Preserve...Tom Lindquist
Ad Hoc Public Charitable Trust Fund Committee...Dennis Zimmerman<
Administrative Fine Hearing Board...Lindquist and Jean Soine
Airport Commission...Jeff Thompson
CAEERC Lindquist...and Soine
Cable Committee...Thompson
Community Education...Thompson
EDAP...Jeff Bertram and Soine
Enhancement Committee... Soine
Finance ...Bertram and Zimmerman
Human Rights...Thompson
Liquor Board...Bertram and Soine
Park and Tree...Lindquist
Personnel...Bertram and Soine
Planning Commission...Bertram
Police Thompson
Public Works...Lindquist and Zimmerman
Weed Inspection...Thompson
Wellhead Protection...Zimmerman

*The council also approved city committee, commission, and board appointments for non-council members. The only new appointment was Dan Roberts to the planning commission.

*The council, in other yearly appointments, designated the Paynesville Press as the official newspaper for the city; appointed Frauenshuh and Spooner as the city attorney; appointed Mid-Minnesota Development Commission as the city building inspector; designated city administrator Steve Helget as treasurer and chief financial officer for the city; appointed Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc., as city engineer; appointed Dennis Nacey as the emergency services director for the city; and appointed Kern, DeWenter, Viere, Ltd. as the city's auditor.

*The council also approved appointing Farmers and Merchants State Bank, the Central Minnesota Federal Credit Union, and Bank of the West as the city's official depositories of funds.

*The council approved Zimmer-man as a provider of computer technical support for the city.

*The council approved rescheduling the city council meeting on Wednesday, June 22, to Wednesday, June 29, to avoid the Town and Country Days parade.

*The council approved setting a mailing label fee of $10 for non-profit organizations and $20 for for-profit organizations and businesses. The city periodically has requests for public utility billing lists so organizations or businesses can use them as a mailing list. The fee covers staff time and the cost of paper, ink, etc. The council left all other fees and charges the same.

*The council set a special meeting for Wednesday, Jan. 19, to establish the city's goals and objectives for 2005.

*The council approved a gambling permit for the Paynesville Sportsmen's Club to hold a raffle at the Paynesville American Legion on Friday, March 4.

*The council approved raising the amount the city administrator can spend on behalf of the city without council approval from $1,000 to $2,000.

*The council approved sending Bob Wander to the MPCA's annual collection system operator's conference in St. Paul. City employees who hold waste and water treatment licenses are required to take regular continuing education courses to maintain their licenses, according to Mergen.

Before approving the class, Lindquist suggested that city employees attending school at the city's cost should be required to report on what they learned in the class, either to the council or to the employees in their department.

*The council approved a preliminary plat for Wilglo Acres Plat Four. Wilglo Acres is a development on the west side of Paynesville owned by Willie and Gloria Scheel. The fourth plat consists of four lots and two outlots totaling 5.25 acres.

*The council also approved deferring assessments on the four platted lots until the lots are sold. Scheel agreed to pay the assessments in full upon closing.

*The council approved re-zoning Minnie Villa, a two-lot plat on Minnie Street near the Industrial Park, from agricultural to single and two-family residential.

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