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Paynesville Press - January 28, 2004

Paynesville Township approves agreement with city

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Township Board of Supervisors took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

*The board approved an agreement with the city over a proposed community pool.

The township had proposed joint ownership of the Koronis Civic Arena (currently owned solely by the township), joint ownership of the proposed pool, and split the expenses for maintenance, etc. But the township reported that the city was reluctant to accept responsibility at the arena. Instead, the negotiators agreed that the city would operate the pool (handling maintenance and operations) and the township would continue to own the arena solely.

For construction costs, the township would pay 38 percent, a rate based on the population split between the city and the township. The township's maximum contribution would be capped at $475,000, which is 38 percent of a $1.25 million pool. (For this participation in construction, both city and township residents would be treated the same for rates and programs at the community pool.)

Both the city and township plan to bring the pool proposal to a vote by their residents. If either vote fails, the agreement would be dissolved.

*The board approved allowing the Paynesville-New London-Spicer Hockey Association, which operates the Koronis Civic Arena, to reinsulate parts of the roof, a project that is estimated to cost $25,000. The added insulation should help keep the building cooler, allowing the association to keep ice in the arena longer. The association is also investigating adding some refrigeration cubes in order to make artificial ice in the summer, most likely for a month or so.

*The board also approved raising their insurance coverage of the arena, township hall, and garage to cover replacement costs.

*Supervisors Pat Meagher and Don Pietch reported on attending a county hearing about possible changes to the county zoning ordinance, which would affect residents of Paynesville Township.

The current rule that allows a residual lot on land zoned as Ag-40 could be eliminated, they reported. But the county seemed to be favorable to allowing Ag-40 owners to rezone to T-20 in order to maintain two building site rights on 40 acres. The county appears ready to not count wetland acres when determining rights for building sites. Under this change, any land below the high water table would not count when figuring building sites. The township supervisors wanted wetlands to be used as setaside acres and to count in figuring site rights; Paynesville Township, with lots of water, figures to be hit hard by the exclusion of wetlands.

The county also wants to lower the lot size for clustering to 1.5 acres and to make any clustered lots contiguous. (Clustered developments give bonus building rights when lots are kept small and green space is maintained.) This could cause a change at the township level, since Paynesville Township currently has a minimum lot size of two acres.

*The board approved accepting a small piece of property from Mary Hahn near the outlet bridge by Lake Koronis. The property actually lies in Meeker County, and the township had researched the legalities in owning property outside the township. The small piece of property had $4 in taxes assessed against it last year.

But the township is expected to rescind this motion next month, as Hahn appears to not want to give the property to the township.

*The board approved a conditional use permit for Ted's RV Land to use 13 acres of commercial land on the north side of Highway 55 for extra storage for their business. The business plans to use the lot to store extra stock and sold units. MnDOT approved this use because traffic onto and off of Highway 55 should be minimally affected by the extra traffic for storage only.

*The board set a public hearing for Harlan and Sue Hecht, who want to rezone 15 acres of their property (between Highway 55 and 283rd Avenue) as commercial. It is currently zoned as residential. The hearing was set for Monday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m.

*The board set a public hearing for Warren Nehring, who wants to rezone six and a half acres of property (also between Highway 55 and 283rd Avenue) as commercial. This property is also currently zoned as residential. This hearing was set for Monday, Feb. 9, at 7:45 p.m.

*The board approved having clerk Don Wiese hire election judges for the upcoming township election. The election will be held on Tuesday, March 9, from 12 noon to 8 p.m.

The board's next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. Future meetings include Monday, March 8, at 7 p.m.; annual meeting on Tuesday, March 9, starting around 8:05 p.m.; and Thursday, March 11, at 7 p.m.

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