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Paynesville Press - February 04, 2004

Paynesville sets referendum date for aquatic park

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 28

*The council set a special election for a referendum on the proposed aquatic park for Tuesday, April 20. The election is tentative, since the city wants Paynesville Township to hold an election on the same day.

Before the special referendum is held, the aquatic park committee will hold two public informational meetings at the school auditorium - on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 29, at 2 p.m.

A partnership - to share the construction costs of the project - with Paynesville Township is being considered by city and township officials. The latest proposal was for the township to be responsible for 38 percent of construction costs, with a maximum responsibility of $475,000. The city would be responsible for 62 percent of the costs. (This cost sharing was figured by using population ratios.)

The council did not approve this proposal, citing that the township's limit (based on a $1.25 million project) could leave the city with considerably more to pay if the actual bids are more than the estimates.

*The council approved a land settlement for the Paynesville Municipal Airport. Commissioners, appointed by the Stearns County District Court, awarded Loren and Geraldine Meyer $20,000 for 6.9 acres that the city acquired for the airport. Originally, the city offered to pay $11,151 for the property and deposited that amount with the court administrator.

The council approved pa

ying the difference of $11,152. *The council also approved a lease agreement for space in the city-owned tee hangar at the airport. Rent for airplane storage will be $100 per month, including electricity, with a two-year lease.

Because electricity is included in the price, to keep rates low renters will be encouraged to monitor how long their engine heaters are used. If electricity bills for the hangar are too high, the council will adjust rent rates accordingly in two years.

*The council approved a bid from Double Check, Co., for a fuel system at the airport. The $69,000 bid was higher than original estimates because the city opted to install a 10,000 gallon tank instead of a 4,000 gallon tank. The estimated total cost of the fuel system - including engineering services - is $72,000, half of which should be paid by grants.

*The council approved $12,800 for the construction of a bike trail and road leading to the BMX park. The money will come from the park capital improvement fund, which has a balance of $96,000. The trail and road will be constructed in conjunction with the street project on Service Road this summer.

*The council approved a $4,400 bid from Paynesville Excavating for the demolition of the old creamery building at 205 Railroad Street. The council also approved an $800 bid from Assessco Environmental Services for the removal of asbestos panels in the building. The building will be removed as part of the street improvement project in 2004.

*The council rejected - by a 3-2 vote - putting a sidewalk on Hudson Street from Minnesota Street to Aldon Park during this summer's street improvement project. According to city adnimistrator Steve Helget, Alldon Park residents requested eliminating the one block of sidewalk.

Council members Dave Peschong and Jean Soine voted against removing the sidewalk from the plans while council members Harlan Beek, Dennis Zimmerman, and mayor Jeff Thompson voted for removing it.

According to Zimmerman, there is more foot traffic in the road ditch between Hudson Street and Highway 55 than on Hudson Street. He proposed that the city consider a trail near that ditch.

Public works director Ron Mergen said that the public works committee is already working on proposals for a trail in that area. *The council approved a $10,000 EDAP loan to Jeff and Tammy Hawksworth, owners of Skinz Protective Gear. The loan will be used to renovate a building on James Street where they will operate their business.

*The council approved sending Thompson to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Feb. 11, and Thursday, Feb. 12, to meet with Minnesota legislators to discuss federal funding for Highway 23. The city will pay $495 for Thompson's airfare and hotel. Thompson said he would not ask the council for mileage or per diem for the trip.

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