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Paynesville Press - April 21, 2004

Township renews lease with hockey association

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Township Board of Supervisors took the following actions at their meeting on Monday, April 12.

*The board approved revising its lease for the Koronis Civic Arena with the Paynesville-New London-Spicer Hockey Association. The hockey association wants to make improvements to the arena, which is owned by the township, adding insulation and ice-making equipment in order to have summer ice.

Right now, the arena only has ice from October to March. The planned improvements would allow for a month of ice in May or June.

The cost of the improvements is estimated at $150,000, with the hockey association paying $50,000 in cash and the township, in essence, financing the other $100,000. (The hockey association tried to borrow these funds but have no collateral, since they donate all the improvements to the township"s facility.)

The updated lease, which runs to 2022, includes an addendum that requires the hockey association to pay $23,500 for five years (from 2005 to 2009), returning the township"s portion of these improvements, reimbursing the township with interest.

*The board approved a resolution supporting the Lake Koronis Recreational Trail, as presented by trail consultant Jeff Bertram. The resolution was needed for the federal grant process and is meant to acknowledge that a local match is needed.

The Lake Koronis Recreational Trail is expected to receive $261,200 in federal funds, which requires a local match of $65,300. This money, available in July 2006, would finance the building of a trail from the city to the city beach.

*The board also approved appointing board chairman Don Pietsch and maintenance man Mike Jensen to a working committee on the trail. This committee will focus on the construction of the trail, getting easements, finalizing the design, and negotiating a cost sharing arrangement between the city and the township for the local match.

The city already approved this resolution and appointed members to the working committee.

*The board noted that the annual equalization hearings for the township will be held on Thursday, April 22. Appointments can be made starting at 9 a.m. by calling 243-7500. The equalization hearings, where property owners can question the appraised value of their property, will start at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.

*The board denied a request by David Shay to open a road to property owned by his mother. The township attorney had advised the board not to open a road. Shay can appeal the decision to the county commissioners.

Supervisor Pat Meagher abstained from voting since his brother is serving as the realtor for the Shays.

*The board voted to transfer $10,000 from the revenue fund to road and bridges to start repaying the money used to pay off the debt on the Koronis Civic Arena. The township used its reserves to pay off the debt with the intention to repay the road and bridge fund over 15 years. This was the first repayment. *The board transferred $5,000 from the revenue fund to an escrow fund for arena maintenance.

*The board approved holding a public hearing on Monday, May 10, at 8:30 p.m. about whether or not to allow off-sale liquor in the township, since both Northern Lights Dining and Lounge and Ken and Jeff Evans, owners of the Hilltop complex, have expressed interest in off-sale liquor. Board chair Don Pietsch questioned holding the hearing because the state requires that off-sale liquor stores in a township must be a mile from city limits, but the Evanses continued to express interest in off-sale liquor.

Even if the township approves allowing off-sale liquor sales, county and state approval would be needed. *The board approved holding a variance hearing on Monday, April 26, at 8:30 p.m. for Jeff and Kathleen Hoffman, who want to build a new structure within 35 feet from the center of Briarcreek Road, where the setback is 28 feet.

*The board approved holding a variance hearing for Kirby Larson on Monday, April 26, at 8:45 p.m. Larson wants to build an unattached structure on his property that will be 27 feet from the right-of-way of King Bee Drive, which requires a 30-feet setback.

*The board approved seven site permits, including an after-the-fact permit for Linus Nistler, where the fee was tripled as a penalty.

*The board approved allowing maintenance man Mike Jensen to get a credit card for incidental purchases _ like fuel and materials _ which should reduce the number of claim sheets to be processed.

*The board recessed its meeting in order to hold its annual road inspection on Wednesday, April 14, and also to attend the Chamber of Commerce meeting that day.

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