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Paynesville Press - May 3, 2006

City enters agreement for a public elementary-school park

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, April 26.

•The council heard a report by interim administrator and public works director Ron Mergen, on behalf of the park and tree committee, regarding the installation of new playground equipment at Paynesville Area Elementary School. The total cost of the project - which includes solving the flooding problem in the playground as well as installing new equipment - is estimated at $52,000, and the committee recommended a city contribution up to $17,500 of the total cost. The elementary school raised funds for a third of the project, and the school district has budgeted to cover the other third of the project.

Mergen also shared a letter from the League of Minnesota Cities regarding this proposal, which advised the city to enter into an agreement with the school district to share the cost of the playground equipment.

Council member Jeff Bertram proposed a set, limited number of hours for the playground gate to be open, due to liability.

The council was also informed that Allie Wendroth would be pursuing improvements at the playground as her Girl Scout Gold Award project, including installing a gate across from the city's Gazebo Park.

•The council approved advertising for bids for a sealcoat project on streets in Paynesville this year. Streets to be sealcoated are: Augusta Avenue (from Highway 23 to Mill Street); Stearns Avenue (from James Street to Highway 23); Oak Park Avenue; Hudson Street (from Highway 23 to Wendell Street); Washburne Avenue (from Mill Street to First Street); Main Street (from Lake Avenue to Stearns Avenue); and Wendell Street (from Stearns Avenue to Belmont Street). •The council heard a brief update from Mayor Jeff Thompson about the vacant city administrator position. Three final candidates have been selected and three separate hour-long interviews will be conducted by the council on Wednesday, May 3, starting at 5:30 p.m.

•The council heard a brief report from Thompson about the unionization request by city employees. Groups have been determined, and the next step is for the members of these groups to vote if they want to unionize or not.

•The council approved a public informational meeting regarding the delineation of the city's wellhead protection area for Wednesday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m.

•The council approved changing its ordinance to charge a sanitary sewer and water main fee from developers of $850 per acre for sanitary sewer and $750 per acre for water main. With large developments on the horizon, this fee would help pay for necessary infrastructure. The council discussed allowing an exemption for undevelopable land and referred this question back to the public works committee.

•The council approved rewording the annexation agreement for 20.39 acres owned by Keith and Mary Dombrovski and James and Mary Meyer to state that the existing taxes from any outlot, not to be served by city sewer and water, will be returned to the township. The township had raised this as a concern.

•The council approved an EDAP loan to Queen Bee's Bar & Grill for $100,000, to be split between the city and Paynesville Township.

•The council approved a loan to Jeff and Tammy Hawksworth (Skinz Protective Gear) for $50,000, to be split with the township.

•The council approved a loan for Jody Groshens (Jody's Hometown Bakery) for $30,000.

•The council accepted the low quote from Voss, in the amount of $43,800, to install a boring line to AMPI. This was the lowest of two quotes the city received. The city has agreed to pay for 75 percent of this project from fines, with AMPI covering the other 25 percent.

•The council approved installing a four-foot chain link fence around the Spruce Street pond, at a cost not to exceed $3,000. The city received a written concern from a resident with a small child living near the pond. It will be the third pond to be fenced in Paynesville.

•The council approved a settlement agreement with the Occupational Safety and Health Division of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, which found violations in the city shop and fire hall. Fines from the recent inspection totalled $490. The violations were a light switch without a cover and a compressor without a shield.

•The council approved allowing a liquor garden and street dance for Queen Bee's Bar & Grill on Saturday, June 17, during Town & Country Days on Augusta Avenue from 12 noon to 12 midnight.

•The council approved a temporary street closing for the Paynesville Area Chamber of Commerce to hold a carnival during Town and Country Days. James Street, in downtown Paynesville, will be closed from Monday, June 19, through Wednesday, June 21.

•The council approved a parade permit for the Kiddie Parade during Town and Country Days. It will be held on Tuesday, June 20, at 3 p.m. on Washburne Avenue from the Koronis Manor to the Gazebo Park.

•The council approved a parade permit for the Paynesville Area Chamber of Commerce to hold their Town and Country Days parade on Wednesday, June 21, at 7 p.m. The parade will begin at the Industrial Loop and proceed as usual down Washburne Avenue to Highway 23. Due to the construction on Washburne Avenue, the parade will go one block west on Highway 23 and then go south on Augusta Avenue to the elementary school. Then it will turn right onto Mill Street and continue via Maple Street to St. Louis Catholic Church. Highway 23 will be detoured during the parade.

•The council approved a bid from Paynesville Greenhouse and Floral for 12 large baskets at $39.50 and 42 small baskets at $17.77, totaling $1,220.34, for downtown Paynesville. This was the lowest of three bids.

•The council approved the purchase of 5,000 community maps at the cost of $3,425 by EDAP. This had been tabled in April over concerns about whether too many maps were being ordered. The council was told that the city had ordered 30,000 maps 11 years ago and distributed about 2,500 maps per year.

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