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Paynesville Press - June 2, 2004

City council considers funding for pool, trail, nature park

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

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

*The council scheduled a special meeting on Wednesday, June 2, to discuss financing of the following proposed projects: the aquatic park, which could cost the city $775,000; the Koronis Lake Recreational Trail, joining the city and the city beach, which would is estimated to cost the city $75,000; and the Kruger Lake Nature Preserve, a 116-acre property offered to the city, which would cost $200,000.

*The council heard a verbal report from city engineer Pete Carlson regarding the street improvement project. According to Carlson, work is progressing nicely, in spite of recent rains. Work on sanitary sewer and water lines should be finished within a week, he said, and the dirt work on the streets will be done, making it easier for local traffic. The installation of curbs and gutters and the overlayment of streets is still not scheduled.

*The council approved a change order for the street improvement for a savings of $10,700 by substituting the type of water main that will be used in the project. The change order also includes spending $4,800 for pipe that will carry water from a city well, which is being drained by MPCA, to a storm water detention pond. MPCA should re-imburse the city for the cost of this pipe.

*The council approved a parade permit for the Paynesville Area Chamber of Commerce's Town and Country Days parade on Wednesday, June 23, at 7 p.m.

*The council also approved - contingent upon approval from the police and fire chiefs - closing James Street, from Washburne Avenue to Stearns Avenue, on Tuesday, June 22, and Wednesday, June 23, for the carnival.

*The council proposed changing the fee for 3.2-liquor licenses and strong beer licenses from $50 per year to $100.

*The council rejected raising the intoxicating liquor on-sale license fee from $3,000 to $3,300. Council members Dave Peschong and Dennis Zimmerman voted in favor of the proposal, while council members Harlan Beek, Jean Soine, and mayor Jeff Thompson voted against it.

*The council proposed changing the following fees for the Paynesville Police Department: fingerprinting for city or Paynesville Township residents (for security clearances, bonding, etc.), free; fingerprinting for other residents, $10; civil process service, $25; preliminary breath testing (court ordered), $5 per day; accident reports for insurance companies and individuals and all other reports, $5 per report; copies of photographs, $2; and special request for licensed peace officers (beer gardens, dances, etc.), $30 per hour.

*The council discussed concerns about Quality Checked Plastics in the Industrial Park. The business recycles plastic scraps into usable plastic materials and has a large pile of plastic scraps on its property. Frequently, scraps blow around and onto neighbors' properties. This creates an eyesore for neighbors and passersby, said city administrator Steve Helget, and will be a particular problem when people visit the city during Town and Country Days.

According to owner Stuart Hamilton, employees police the area for litter every day. Unfortunately, because the material is so light, it blows around easily.

For the short term, Hamilton agreed to stress to his employees how important it is to clean up daily, especially during Town and Country Days, and to construct a temporary barrier to catch the blowing debris. In the long term, Hamilton told the council he would build a solid fence when the company can afford it.

The council was satisfied with Hamilton's proposal and asked for a plan and a written schedule. If the site is not cleaned, the city could have it cleaned and assess Quality Checked for the cost.

*The council approved a grant agreement that would pay 80 percent of the cost of moving private hangers from the old airport to the new Paynesville Municipal Airport.

*The council approved paying Rhuland Commercial Consultants, Inc., $1,450 for their research and testimony during land acquisition hearings for the Paynesville Municipal Airport.

*The council tabled a $5,000 payment to Martin & Squires, P.A., for property appraisals because the appraisals were not authorized by the city. The appraisal firm will be asked to explain the appraisals before payment is made.

*The council approved paying court appointed commissioners $2,000 for their work during the land acquisition hearings.

*The council reviewed a proposed development agreement between the city and the developers of the proposed Ridgeview Sixth Addition. Because developers are unsure whether the project will be done this year, the council added a clause that will require developers to pay the city's legal and administrative costs if the project has not begun by January 1, 2005.

The council set the interest on assessments for building streets and adding city services to the subdivision at two percent over the average bonding rate with assessments payable over 10 years.

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