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Paynesville Press - February 18, 2004

City approves joint aquatic park agreement with township

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 11.

*The council approved a resolution canvassing the Sunday on-sale liquor election held on Tuesday, Feb. 10. The measure failed by a vote of 181-160. (Complete story.)

*The council approved an aquatic park joint powers agreement with Paynesville Township on a 3-1 vote. The terms of the agreement specify that the city of Paynesville will pay 62 percent of the cost of building an aquatic park, and Paynesville Township will pay 38 percent of the building costs with a cap of $475,000. Both entities will be responsible for their own bonding costs. Any grants or donations will be taken off the top of the project cost.

Residents of the city and township will vote on the project on Tuesday, April 20. If either vote fails, the agreement would be terminated. Either entity could also reject the bids. (Complete story.)

Once construction is complete, the city would own the aquatic park solely and be responsible for all maintenance, operation, and improvements.

Council members Dave Peschong, Jean Soine, and Dennis Zimmerman voted for the agreement while council member Harlan Beek voted against it. Beek thought the cost split should be based on tax bases, not population.

*The council also approved bonding for an aquatic park - if a referendum is passed in April - using a 15-year repayment schedule.

*The council approved a payment of $42,770 to Southside Steel for work completed on the tee hangar at the Paynesville Municipal Airport.

*The council also approved installing an automated weather observation system at the airport. The weather system will be built by the state at no cost to the city.

*The council also approved a grant agreement for a fuel system at the airport. The grant should pay 50 percent of the estimated $78,200 cost for the fuel system.

*The council approved accepting a $14,500 bid from Paynesville Equipment for a front-mount mower.

*The council approved $4,900 to purchase and install a new furnace and air conditioning unit at the Paynesville Public Library.

*The council approved spending up to $1,500 for the 2004 Paynesville Water Festival. The money will pay for bottled water, t-shirts for students, and student teacher fees.

The second annual festival - where fifth graders from PAES learn about protecting the groundwater and the water quality in lakes and streams - is scheduled for Friday, May 14, at the Lake Koronis Regional Park.

*The council approved declaring Friday, April 23, as Arbor Day.

*The council approved an annual contribution to the Paynesville Fire Department Relief Association in the amount of $4,000.

*The council heard a verbal report from engineer Jim Schultz. According to Schultz, an easement problem may exist on Railroad Street. The street currently runs on property owned by Ed Webb. A right-of-way was never included in the plat, and Webb has been reluctant to give the city a right-of-way to improve the street., said Schultz.

According to city attorney Bill Spooner, because the street has been there for probably 50 to 100 years, it would likely fall under common law dedication classification and the city should still be allowed to use it as a street. If this is the case, contractors will need to be careful not to deviate from the boundaries of the current street, curb, and gutter.

As a last resort, the city could go through a litigation process called adverse possession to force Webb to give the city a right-of-way, but Spooner emphasized that the city should try to work out an agreement with Webb.

*The council approved reimbursing eligible city employees 4.7 percent, or $1,400, of a $63,100 investment return the city received on insurance premiums paid to the Principal Financial Group.

It was determined by city administrator Steve Helget that city employees paid 4.7 percent of the original investment in insurance premiums. The remaining $61,700 will go to the city's general fund.

*The council held a public hearing and approved a variance request for Robert and Lena Block, who live on Burr Street. The Blocks want to build an eight-foot by 16-foot deck that will not meet the 20-foot setback requirement from the road right-of-way. Instead, the deck will have a 15.5-foot setback.

*The council approved passing a resolution supporting the 0.08 DWI threshold that the legislature is discussing.

*The council approved a temporary gambling permit for the St. Louis Knights of Columbus to hold a tractor raffle on Sunday, March 27.

*The council approved an association agreement for Viking Land 'n' Lakes' Lake Land Villas Town-homes. The townhomes/condominium complex is planned to be located on Co. Rd. 34, just inside the city limits. The city requires an association agreement before the property can be platted. Viking Land 'n' Lakes still needs to have an agreement approved for the condominiums before the property can be platted.

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