Council moving forward with Project 55

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 4/21/99.

The Paynesville City Council agreed to move forward with Project 55 at their Wednesday meeting.

Project 55 is the proposed annexation and development of about five acres south of Highway 55 and west of County Road 181. The project includes extending Spruce Street (with curb and gutter) to County Road 181, in addition to installing water and sewer mains.

At a public hearing held recently, the public works committee was told to look at alternative routes for the project. Ron Mergen, public works director, told the council they reviewed the project and found the city has no right of way from the proposed development to County Road 181 if they follow Kohi Road on the south edge of the project area. Kohi Road is the cart trail/snowmobile trail which runs east and west from Country Road 181, south of Koronis Parts towards the golf course.

"We talked with representatives from MnDOT about our options which included extending Spruce Street to County Road 181, extending Stearns Avenue south with an approach to Highway 55, and the addition of a possible frontage road along Highway 55," Mergen said.

"The the public works committee recommends the city proceed with the original layout of the street," Mergen added. Spruce Street would extend to Wimmer's north boundary and then come out on County Road 181 between Tom Thumb and Koronis Parts.

A group of residents from the Chladek Addition were in attendance at the meeting to express support for another street out of the area.

City Attorney Bill Spooner urged the council to move forward with annexation before proceeding with infrastructure improvements.

City Administrator Dennis Wilde informed the council that he and Mayor Jeff Thompson had met with Paynesville Township representatives. Wilde added an orderly annexation with the townships cooperation will take place.

Pete Carlson, city engineer, recommended the project take place in 2000, along with the city's other projects.

After further discussion, the council approved a resolution ordering improve-ment plans for Project 55.

The development agreement between the city and property owners was also approved by the council.

Assessments on the project will be deferred for 10 years or until lots are sold.

Mergen informed the council that he has talked with owners of developed lots within the Project 55 area. "Tom Thumb has expressed a desire to be annexed," he said.

City wells

Mergen informed the council that the grant the city had received for wellhead protection from the Clean Water Partnership has been placed on hold until the city's well situation is clarified.

"The city needs to approve a resolution extending the grant until July 2000," Mergen added.

Mergen told the council the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is going to do another round of borings for test wells. "The borings should help us discover the full extent of our aquifer," he added.

"The Department of Health has indicated the city should look for another well site, away from the present well field east of town," Mergen said. "The MPCA is looking at four different sites: in the Alldon Park area, by the hospital, near the Lutheran church, and in the Project 55 area."

Mergen told the council he has learned of another grant application which would help cover the costs of the wellhead protection for new or existing well sites. The deadline for the application is April 27 and it is a 50-50 matching grant.

Wilde informed the council that even if the city is approved to receive the grant, the city is not obligated to make use of the grant. The council gave Mergen the go ahead to apply for the grant.

In other business:

•The council approved purchasing two new radios for the emergency services department at a cost of $680 per radio.

"Last summer our storm spotters had problems with our present two-way radios," Bill Drager, emergency services director, said. The present radios are anywhere from 10 to 15 years old.

•The council discussed forming a public safety committee. Members would consist of the police chief, fire chief, emergency services director, a council member, and someone from Paynesville Township.

"The public works committee now handles the safety issues," Mayor Thompson said. "I feel the public works committee should concentrate on infra-structure concerns and not safety."

Wilde said he would check with other cities to see what guidelines they have established for their public safety committees.

•The council approved a resolution recognizing that the environmental worksheet for the proposed new airport has been completed. The environmental worksheet showed there are no significant environmental areas that would be impacted from the construction of the airport and that an environmental impact statement was not needed for the project.

•The council approved requests for annual contributions to Paynesville Township in the amount of $4,000 to help cover the salary of the ice arena manager, and to the Paynesville-New London-Spicer Hockey Association in the amount of $4,000.

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