Land annexation main topic at city council

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 2/16/99.

After reviewing assessment costs on the proposed annexation south of Highway 55 and west of County Road 181 (Proejct 55) the Paynesville City Council, at their Wednesday night meeting, approved the city paying 50 percent of the street, curb, and gutter costs which is about $106,000.

In December, the council discussed annexing the land (more than five acres) between County Road 181 and the South Place Apartments. The proposed project would include 18 lots, each with 85-foot frontage. With continued development along Spruce Street, homeowners along Maple Street and Spruce Street requested the council find an alternate access to the area to handle the increased traffic flow.

Pete Carlson, city engineer, reported at the December meeting the proposed project would cost about $422,408 or about $17,000 per lot in assessments. After the cityís contribution toward the project, the per lot assessment will be approximately $11,300. Pat Flanders, one of the property owners, indicated the costs were too high, making the property unsellable. The last lot in the area to the west of the development sold for about $11,000.

Following that meeting, the city of Paynesville public works committee contacted other cities regarding their financial participation promoting new housing projects. The public works committee was interested in learning what the city could do to make the project more feasible and marketable.

Carlson reminded the city there were two reasons for the project: another street access to the area and improved water service. Presently, there is only one exit from the area, Spruce Street to Maple Street. Looping the water systemin the area will provide homeowners with increased water pressure and better fire protection.

The public works committee recommended the city pay 50 percent of the costs for new streets, curb, and gutter. This would amount to about $106,000 or $10,000 per year. ďIn the long run, the city would make up the amount from taxes on the developed lots,Ē Carlson told the council.

The two developed lots in the area (Wimmer Landscaping and Tom Thumb) have the option of being annexed or remaining part of Paynesville Township.

A public hearing to discuss the land improvements will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10.

Walking trail update
Tom Koshiol, park committee member, informed the council that the walking trail from the city of Paynesville to Lake Koronis and connecting to the the Glacier Trail has the support of several entities and organizations.

Among those supporting the trail are: the Koronis Lake Association, Paynesville Jaycees, Paynesville Township, Paynesville City Council, and the Koronis Hills Snowmobile Club.

Koshiol reported the Paynesville Area Jaycees has assumed responsibility for the trail project. They have $25,000 donated toward the project. The park committee recommends the city match the townshipís donation of $10,000, putting the total at $35,000 in start up funds.

ďPlans are to have the trail go all around Lake Koronis. We hope to make it a four-season multi-use trail,Ē Koshiol said. ďThe first segment of the trail will be the along the wo and one-half miles of County Road 124, starting at Highway 55 just south of Hilltop and ending at Highway 55, near the Five-Mile Bridge.Ē Koshiol added their goal is to have a safe trail where kids and adults can bike or walk to Lake Koronis. ďWe are looking at a six-foot wide paved trail,Ē he added.

ďWe feel the trail would be a good drawing card to the area,Ē Koshiol said.

Richard Mathiowetz, Sleepy Eye and Lake Koronis summer resident, is putting together trail cost estimates for the Paynesville Jaycees. After further discussion, the council approved a $10,000 pledge.

Paynesville Area Transit
Linda Elfstrand, Tri-CAP Transpor-tation director, told Dennis Wilde, city administrator, the Paynesville Area Transit (PAT) was too broad and needed to be scaled back. The PAT bus was driving too many miles for the number of riders.

The $7,500 Central Minnesota Initiative Fund grant PAT received to get started expires in March. In order for the city to help fund the program, the PAT needed to be transferred from the senior center management to the city.

A local committee has been providing guidance for the PAT program. Committee members are John Peyerl, Karen Whitcomb, Dennis Wilde, Janel Hoffman, Denise Hansen, Keith Anisley, Don Torbenson, Urban Fuchs, Harriet Carlston, and Linda Elfstrand. Drivers for PAT are Mike Noonan and Darcey Hagen.

Under the new Tri-CAP guidelines, PAT can only transport people within the city of Paynesville and into Paynesville Township. Trips cannot originate in the township. Trips can only start from within city limits. However, they can transport people to locations within the township, but not anywhere else.

Under the new Tri-CAP funding, Tri-CAP will fund 65 percent of the costs and the city 35 percent. The new funding period covers April 1 to Dec. 31, 1999.

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