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Paynesville Press - May 21, 2003

New schedules for city fees and licenses approved

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

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

•The council approve continuing to require permits and collecting fees for reshingling roofs, replacing windows, and siding after receiving an interpretation from a state building official that said there are no exceptions in the building code for these projects.

The council approved a new schedule for city fees and licenses, including a new $36.25 charge for shingling, siding, mechanical, and replacing windows and doors permits. Excavation permits were raised from $10 to $20, demolition permits were raised, and sign permits were raised from $10 to $25.

Other changes include raising dog and cat licenses, raising kennel licenses from $10 to $20, raising tobacco licenses from $12 to $25, raising licenses for garbage and refuse haulers from $35 to $50, and establishing license fees of $25 for shows and assemblies and $50 for peddlers and solicitors.

The city will keep its water and sewer rates the same in 2003.

These fee schedule changes also included raises for the mayor and council members. Previously, the mayor received $300 per month and council members received $200 per month. In 2003, they will get $4,000 per year and $3,000 per year respectively. In another change, they also will get a $40 per diem for a half day and $80 for a full day.

The council also raised the fee for notary services from 25 to $1 and for a copy of the zoning ordinance from $7 to $25 and established fees of $25 for a hard copy of the city's comprehensive plan and $10 for a copy of the airport zoning.

•The council approved the 2002 Consumer Confidence Report regarding the city's water supply. According to public works director Ron Mergen, the city's water supply was tested and no contaminates were found to be over the acceptable limits. The city's water has remained very stable, which has reduced the frequency of required testing from every year to every three years, said Mergen. A copy of the report is available at city hall.

•The council heard a verbal report from Mergen about the refurbishing of the water tower. The tower has been sandblasted, and crews will begin painting as soon as weather permits. Mergen said that city residents may experience some water pressure fluctuations and some discolored water while the tower is being painted.

•The council approved designating a no-parking zone on the west side of Washburne Avenue from First Street to the second approach to the Paynesville Area Health Care System. PAHCS requested the no-parking zone to make access to and from its parking lots easier and safer.

Council member Harlan Beek said he believes the hospital should be required to provide off-street parking for its employees. With the no-parking zone, he feels employees and patients will park in residential areas surrounding the hospital if parking is not available nearby.

•The council approved bids for the rental of farmland surrounding the Paynesville Municipal Airport. Thomas Frieler had the high bid for property northwest and south of the airport at $51 per acre. Rental of a parcel north of the airport and another to the east was awarded to Jason Mages, who bid $30 and $25 per acre respectively. Both Mages and Frieler bid $30 for the one section, with a coin flip being used to award the bid to Mages.

•The council approved changing the name of the Paynesville Regional Airport to the Paynesville Municipal Airport, since it is now solely a city project.

•The council approved applying for a matching grant from the state for moving commercial hangars at the present airport to the new one. If awarded, the grant will help pay for moving the hangars only if it cost less than building new ones. City administrator Steve Helget said the price to move four existing hangars is estimated at $10,000.

Beek pointed out that some of the current commercial hangars are in poor repair and questioned whether they should be allowed at the new airport. Council member Dave Peschong assured the council that minimum standards for appearance will have to be met before any buildings are permitted at the new airport.

•City engineer Pete Carlson gave a verbal report about construction at the Paynesville Municipal Airport. According to Carlson, members of the North Fork Crow River Watershed District have continued to express concerns about stormwater runoff from the airport to the river.

Engineers have taken the watershed's concerns into consideration and Carlson believes the current plan, which meets MPCA approval, will be sufficient to keep stormwater runoff to a minimum, although members of the watershed district would like even stricter control of stormwater.

•The council approved an agreement to defer assessments on property sold in the past by the Paynesville Development Corporation. Under an agreement from the 1970s, the Paynesville Development Corporation a nonprofit organization that is now dissolving was to pay the city $5,000 in assessment fees each time a property in the Paynesville Industrial Park was sold. Assessments were paid for many of the first properties sold, but over time, the agreement was forgotten by Paynesville Development Corporation as well as the city, and properties were sold without assessments being paid.

Under the new agreement, Pay-Del-Co the for-profit organization that spun off from the Paynesville Development Corporation will pay $5,000 each for the last three properties sold and will continue to pay the assessment on future lots.

•The council approved a variance public hearing for Corey and Nancy Schlangen. A variance would allow the Schlangens to build a garage addition within three feet of an alley, instead of the required five feet, at their residence at 342 Augusta Avenue. The public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 11, at 6:30 p.m.

•The council approved building a split rail fence at Veteran's Memorial Park. Mergen told the council that a fence from the boat landing to the woods is necessary to keep vandals from damaging park property with snowmobiles or off-road vehicles. The fence should cost approximately $875.

•The council accepted a $1,000 donation toward the stormwater retention pond for Lake Avenue from the Rice Lake Association in appreciation of protecting the water quality in Rice Lake.

•The council approved closing Haines Avenue from River Street to the river for an auction by Gilbert Tritabaugh to be held on Saturday, June 21, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

•The council approved closing Washburne Avenue from Mill Street to Main Street on Sunday, June 15, for the Peeper's Picnic.

•The council approved a bid of $1,228 from DuDonne Andrie for a 1993 Saturn.

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