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Paynesville Press - Oct. 1, 2003

Paynesville City Council Meeting

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions on Wednesday, Sept. 24.

„The council approved assessment rates for the storm sewer, water, and sewer improvements on Lake Avenue. Rates were set at $5.22 per foot of frontage property on Lake Avenue for storm sewer improvements, $782 for water main service, and $766 for sanitary sewer service.

A couple property owners objected to the assessments. Lee and Barb Lund, owners of the Punkin Patch Daycare and Preschool, protested the assessments, since they have a letter from the city indicating that their property would face no street or water assessments. Their assessments are actually for storm sewer improvements.

First, council member Jean Soine made a motion to approve the assessments, excluding the Lund property. Mayor Jeff Thompson voted for this, but council members Dave Peschong and Dennis Zimmerman voted against, and it died. A motion to improve all the assessments then passed 3-1 with Peschong, Thompson, and Zimmerman voting for it and Soine voting against. Council member Harlan Beek, who owns property affected by the project, abstained. The Lunds indicated a desire to appeal their assessments, which they can do.

Also during the hearing, Roger Dreyling questioned the amount of his assessment, which was considerably higher than others. He was told by city engineer Pete Carlson that his assessment included an earlier water main project, for which Dreyling's property was not previously assessed.

„The council refused a request from Doris Wendlandt, owner of Queen Bee's Bar and Grill, to pass a resolution for another special election to allow Sunday liquor sales in the city.

If Wendlandt wants to pursue another vote, she will need to circulate a petition that has to be signed by at least 20 percent of the number of people who voted in the last general election. If Wendlandt meets all of the requirements, the city will have to hold a special election for the referendum.

Sunday liquor has been put to a vote twice in the past four years and defeated both times. In November 2000, it was defeated 534-508. In July 2001, it was defeated 262-184.

Approval would allow on-sale liquor sales within the city on Sundays.

„Wendlandt also requested that her establishment be allowed to remain open until 2 a.m., as allowed by a new state law. Currently, the city mandates that bars stop serving liquor at 1 a.m. and that patrons must leave by 1:30 a.m.

Zimmerman said that he didn't see how this could benefit the city, while Soine said that she may be willing to support the later closing time, saying that as a business owner she would hate to have someone tell her how long and on what days she could be open for business.

Before voting, the council agreed that Wendlandt should meet with police chief Kent Kortlever, city administrator Steve Helget, and Beek to discuss issues that could arise if the bar is allowed to stay open later.

„The council approved a grant agreement with MnDOT for a tee hangar at the Paynesville Municipal Airport. According to city administrator Steve Helget, although the grant hasn't been executed, he has been assured by state officials that the airport will receive a grant of $91,000.

„The council also approved a $292,600 bid from Southside Steel Systems for the tee hangar, a $14,700 bid from Regal Electric for electrical work, and a $19,200 bid from Voss Plumbing and Heating for plumbing.

„Helget informed the council that he received permission from the state to open the airport and shifted operations from the old airport to the new one on Thursday, Sept. 25.

„The council approved $6,020 for repairs to the main lift station, which was damaged by lightning. Also, while repairs are being made, pump controls on the lift station will be replaced. The city's share of the repairs will be $3,275 after insurance reimbursement.

„The council approved appointing Catherine Christinsen to the fire department. Christinsen successfully completed training and her probationary period.

„The council approved setting a variance public hearing for Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 6:30 p.m. for Doug and Jamie Miller of 343 Augusta Avenue. The Millers proposed building an addition to their home that does not conform to the city's zoning ordinance because its setback from the street is only 14 feet instead of the required 20 feet.

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