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Paynesville Press - August 21, 2002

Paynesville City Council

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

*The council approved an addendum to the Joint Powers for Paynesville Regional Airport that terminates the airport agreement between the city and Paynesville Township. The city had originally passed a resolution to terminate the agreement at a special meeting on Monday, Aug. 5.

This addendum, suggested by the township attorney, was added to the original agreement, terminating the joint city-township effort to build a new airport.

The vote was 4-1 with Dave Peschong, Jean Soine, Mayor Jeff Thompson, and Dennis Zimmerman voting for it and council member Harlan Beek voting against it. The city plans to proceed with a new airport alone.

*The council appointed a new airport committee consisting of Steve Brown, Jeremy Nelson, Peschong, Bert Stanley, and Steve Whitcomb. Brown, Peschong, Stanley, and Whitcomb previously have served on the joint airport commission.

This also passed 4-1, with Beek voting against it, saying he opposed having noncity members on the committee.

*The council approved adjusted appraisals for the property needed for the new airport. Based on updated appraisals, the city will now offer $1,600 per acre, rather than $1,300 per acre. A new airport will require nearly 200 acres of land.

The vote was 4-1 again, with Beek voting against.

*The council appointed members to represent the city on an Aquatic Park Committee. The city's members are Mary Janotta, Ron Mergen, Kyle Nehowig, and Cliff Rossler, with city administrator Steve Helget serving as a nonvoting member.

Paynesville Township has also appointed members to the committee. The committee's duties will include exploring possibilities for the design, location, and funding for a pool as well as promoting the project.

*A request for a temporary liquor license for the Queen Bee's Bar and Grill was withdrawn by the bar's owners, Doris and Tom Wendlandt. The Wendlandts applied for the special license so they could hold a bean bag tournament in the parking lot, and alcohol, though it would only be sold inside, would have been taken outside.

As a condition for issuance of the special license, the city's policy is to have a licensed peace officer present at the establishment's cost. Doris Wendlandt told the council that the officer would cost her over $200 dollars, and she didn't think it was necessary to have one present at such a small event during daylight hours.

The council was unwilling to change the policy or waive it. The council agreed to organize a committee, including the police department, to look at this policy.

*The council received a petition from residents of Morningside Avenue who want a fence erected around the proposed stormwater retention pond that will border many of their back yards. The residents fear that when the pond is full it will be a danger to small children. The council referred the matter to the public works committee.

*The council approved a payment in the amount of $84,051.40 to Randy Kramer Excavating for work done through July 21 on the Ampe Morningside Development and South Street Extension.

*The council voted to recommend to the county that work on the Lake Avenue/Highway 124 project be delayed until spring because of recent heavy rains. The council agreed that waiting until spring to begin the project would have the added benefit of taking bids over the winter, which may result in lower construction costs.

*The council approved three updated ordinances. One ordinance gives homeowners with septic systems under 20 years old a grace period of the expected life of the system before the homeowner is forced to hook up to the city's sanitary sewer system. The old ordinance gave homeowners 90 days to hook up to sanitary sewer. Primarily, the new ordinance would affect annexed homes.

Another ordinance amends the city code regarding the definition of manufactured homes.

The third ordinance amends the city code concerning sewer and water installers. The ordinance now requires installers to be licensed by the city and carry minimum amounts of insurance.

The third ordinance also affects pawnbrokers, who will be required to be licensed by the city, operate only during certain hours, and have records about their transactions that will be available to the police.

*The council approved the Firefighters Relief Association report and schedules for lump sum pension plans for firefighters, of which the city's share is $84.

*The council approved spending $2,200 to replace two end guns with aquamatic valves for a worn-out irrigation system.

*The council approved spending $1,086.08 to replace the back door at the Paynesville Public Library.

*The council approved a step increase (7.3 percent) for Allen Zschokke, a liquor store clerk, after his successfully completed his annual performance appraisal.

*The council tabled any action regarding a new lease agreement with Xcel Energy. Under an old agreement, which expired last February, Xcel Energy paid $150 per year in rent for the use of property near the airport to store equipment. The city proposed a new agreement that would raise the rent to $150 per month.

*The council tabled action on a new cable franchise agreement. Final details on a tentative deal have been worked out with Mediacom. The new 15-year contract will provide $15,000 to help the local cable access channel. Half of the money will be paid up front, and half in five years. The council was to consider adopting the ordinance at a special meeting on Monday, Aug. 19, where public comments about cable service were to be taken, or at the next regular city council meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

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