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Paynesville Press - June 23, 2004

Township approves trail cost split with city

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Township Board of Supervisors took the following actions on Monday, June 14.

*The board approved a 75-25 cost split between the city and township for the local costs of the next segment of the Lake Koronis Recreational Trail. The next segment, planned for 2006, would connect the city to the city beach. Federal funds - $261,000 - will help pay for the construction of this part of the trail, covering 80 percent of the construction costs.

The local share includes 20 percent of construction plus other costs (engineering and surveying). The current estimate of the local cost is $120,000 (which does not include money for land acquisition, since officials expect residents to donate easements to the trail).

The township's 25 percent share in this project could be lowered by a contribution from the Koronis Lake Association, which has donated $10,000 to both the first trail segment along Old Lake Road and the second along Crowncrest Road and NW Koronis Road.

With the federal money coming in 2006, easements for this project will be the next priority. This section of trail would start in the city and run along Burr Street past the school grounds. It would connect to the trail on Old Lake Road and to Veteran's Memorial Park and Lake Koronis.

The township board also indicated a desire to participate with the city on the next section of trail: connecting the city to the Glacial Lakes State Trail, which runs from St. Cloud to Willmar but is unfinished from New London to Richmond. This segment would connect the local trail to a regional trail system. It is important to create a trail connection - even an unfinished dirt trail - before a Highway 23 bypass is built. If the trail is in place before the highway, then MnDOT would be responsible for getting the trail over or under the new highway. If the trail is not in place before the highway, it would become a local responsibility to get the trail across the highway, making it more costly.

*The board expressed interest in participating in a nature park with the city on a 62-38 basis. The city has been offered 116 acres of land (around Kruger Pond between Old Lake Road and Highway 55 in Paynesville Township) by Mary Hahn, who wants the property used as a nature park.

The township board felt the project was worthwhile and could be done with minimal local contributions since the project could get DNR grants and other outside funding. The township, though, would need to levy money for the project, meaning residents at the annual meeting in March would have to approve a levy increase for the project (supporting township participation) or reject an increase (killing township participation).

*The board offered to pay for half the asphalt to finish the last 400 feet of Brentwood Road on the south side of Lake Koronis. According to past practice, the township will pay for half the asphalt costs of platted, undeveloped roads. The owners will be responsible for the dirt work and the other half of the asphalt. Once the road is done, the township will accept it as a township road.

For new developments, the township requires that developers build paved roads to the township specifications before the township will accept the road (with the developer covering all the costs themselves).

Since Brentwood Road is only 17 feet wide, the board also agreed that the final 400 feet could be finished at that width.

*The board instructed maintenance worker Mike Jensen to start mowing ditches of township roads. The township board received a letter from a seasonal resident asking the township not to mow the ditches until the middle of August to prevent the spread of weeds and to provide habitat for wildlife. The board noted that they wait until June to mow so that young pheasants and ducks can nest in the ditches, but they felt that for safety reasons the township needs to mow its ditches. *The board approved a preliminary plat for Cromwell Estates, a ten-acre, two-lot plat between Old Lake Road and Highway 55, owned by George Cromwell. Each lot is five acres in size. The plat has access to Highway 55.

*The board set a variance hearing for Jim Gabrielson for Monday, June 28, at 8:30 p.m. Gabrielson wants to attach his garage, which sits 13 feet from his sidelot line. The township ordinance requires a sidelot setback of ten feet for unattached garages but a sidelot setback of 20 feet for an attached garage, requiring a variance.

*The board set a variance hearing for Grover Sayer for Monday, June 28, at 8:45 p.m. Sayer wants to remodel his cabin on Brentwood Road and move it to within 14 feet of the road right-of-way. (It currently sits three feet from the right-of-way.) The township ordinance requires a 30-foot setback from a right-of-way.

*The board approved refunding $100 to Kelley and Kelly Mohr, who had applied for an easement and had had it approved by the township board in May. But the easement was not necessary, the township learned, after a miscalculation in the distance to the township's road right-of-way was discovered.

*The board recessed its meeting in order for all three supervisors to be able to attend the meeting of the aquatic park committee on Wednesday, June 16.

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