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Paynesville Press - April 21, 2004

2004 street project to begin

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, April 14.

*The council received an update on the 2004 Street Improvement Project from city engineer Pete Carlson. According to Carlson, work should be started on Railroad Street this week. Contractors will then start in the Industrial Loop before working on other streets.

*The council approved forming an ad-hoc committee for the Krueger Lake Nature Preserve, a 119-acre property along Highway 55 in Paynesville Township that has been offered to the city for development as a nature park. The council is looking for residents from the city and the township to serve on the committee and oversee applying for a DNR grant to help pay for purchasing the property from Mary Hahn, to continue purchase negotiations, and to start exploring appropriate uses for the property if the city is able to purchase it.

*The council denied a street vacation request for Willie and Gloria Scheel.The Scheels requested vacating streets in Wilglo Acres, because they will not be needed. The request was denied because a majority of property owners that will be affected did not sign a petition. In addition, if the streets are vacated, one property owner will not have access to his property without an easement. The council suggested the Scheels work out an agreement with the landowner to allow access to his property, after which the council said it would reconsider the request. *The council approved applying for a grant to move the hangars from the old airport to the new Paynesville Municipal Airport.

Council member Harlan Beek expressed concern that some hangars may not be worth moving. He was assured by city administrator Steve Helget and council member Dave Peschong that hangars would be inspected before being moved, and hangars in poor condition would not be moved. Hangars would need to be brought up to code, if moved, and would have to meet minimum appearance standards.

*The council also learned from Helget that the city was scheduled to receive an "Outstanding Leadership in the Promotion of Aviation Award" for it efforts in developing the new airport. The council approved sending a representative to the award banquet in Rochester to receive the award.

*The council heard from Helget about a mistake in figuring the bonding costs for the proposed aquatic park. According to Helget, the amounts set for the levy referendums for the city and township did not include the cost of bonding which is estimated at $50,000 for the city and $30,000 for the township.

If both referendums pass, the city would receive about $725,000 from the bonding for the aquatic park construction and the township would have $445,000 for the project, less its bonding costs. This totals $1.17 million, not $1.25 million, which could mean that the bonding will not completely cover the construction costs, though it is impossible to know exactly until the project is bid.

According to Helget, a project in Andover, planned by USAquatics, came in $150,000 less than engineer's estimates. In Benson, however, the project came in $200,000 over estimates, possibly because it was bid during a busy period.

The city will wait to see the bids for the project before deciding how to proceed. There is a chance, according to Helget, that the project could come in enough under estimates to offset the bonding costs.

*The council approved the following annual contributions to area organizations: Paynesville Historical Society, $10,000; Paynesville Area Center, $9,000; Paynesville Community Education, $5,625; PNLS Hockey Association, $5,000; Paynesville Community Club, $2,000 (for fireworks); and the Paynesville After Prom Party, $500.

*The council approved setting a variance hearing for the Koronis Hills Golf Club on Wednesday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m. The golf club requested a variance for a 40' by 80' by 19' storage shed on Burr Street. The property is zoned single and two family residential, and buildings in this zoning must be under 16'. *The council approved rescheduling a variance hearing for Avon Plastics now to be held on Wednesday, May 12, at 6:45 p.m. Avon Plastics requested a variance to extend their existing silo from 24' to 74'. Their property is zoned light industrial, which has a maximum height of 45'. *The council approved a $300 per year salary for the lieutenant of the Paynesville Fire Department.

*The council approved Chuck Hagen's retirement from the Paynesville Fire Department after 20 years of service.

*The council approved a street closing request for the Paynesville Community Club. James Street will be closed from Washburne Avenue to Lake Avenue on Tuesday, June 22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the pedal tractor pull during Town and Country Days.

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