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Paynesville Press - October 15, 2003

Paynesville City Council Meeting

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 8.

•The council approved changing the city ordinance to allow for bars to close at 2 a.m.

As directed by the council at its last meeting, city administrator Steve Helget, council member Harlan Beek, and police chief Kent Kortlever met with Doris Wendlandt, owner of Queen Bee's Bar and Grill, who requested the change. The committee noted two concerns to the council. One is that the city's parking ordinance currently prohibits parking on downtown streets from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. This would probably need to be changed to 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. if the bar closing time is changed.

The other is that when daylight saving time changes in October bars should still close at 2 a.m. and not get an additional hour.

The council voted 4-1 to allow bar closing hours to extend to 2 a.m., with Zimmerman voting against.

The city still must officially change its ordinance, and the change in bar hours will not go into effect until after the new ordinance is published.

•The council approved using an average rate, based on previous projects plus inflation, to figure assessments for the 2004 street project. The average rate should be around $39 per foot, while the proposed rate had been $64 per foot for the project.

•The council approved setting a reassessment hearing for the Lake Avenue Improvement Project with the intention of changing the assessment for Barb and Lee Lund. The Lunds got a letter from the city last summer saying their property would not be assessed. The letter did not mention stormwater improvements, for which the Lunds were assessed $780.

Since the council has already approved the assessments, the proper way to change the Lunds' assessment is to do a reassessment, city attorney Bill Spooner told the council. This requires notifying all property owners affected by the project (though only the Lunds assessment will change) and holding a public hearing, which the council set for Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 6:30 p.m.

•The board approved having the city engineers at SEH prepare a preliminary engineering report for paving Service Road, which runs from Highway 55 to the new city BMX park. With the BMX park, this gravel road has seen an increase in use, said public works director Ron Mergen.

The plan also calls for a five-spot parking lot at the new BMX park. If done, the paving would be included in next summer's street project.

•The council approved applying for a $2,500 grant from the CenterPoint Energy Minnegasco's Community Partnership Grant Program for improvements at the city's BMX park. Improvements include paving the road and making a parking lot, creating a bike path to the park along Service Road, installing water, fencing a 1.2-acre dog park, and constructing an area for an outdoor skating rink.

The total cost of the project would be $19,000, with the city covering the remaining costs from its capital improvement funds for parks, which has a fund balance of $86,000.

•The council approved giving a certificate of appreciation to Phil Johnson of Dark Enterprises for his time and work in the design and development of the city's BMX park. Johnson volunteered over 40 hours to design and build the track, said Mergen, with the city just supplying material and fuel.

•The council approved a preliminary plat for Viking Land 'n' Lakes, which is planning to develop four lots along Co. Rd. 34 to build eight twin homes and two ten-unit condominiums for seniors.

The development would include one cul-de-sac street and one north-south street, which could possibly link future development to the south. The council referred the question of whether these two streets should be public to the public works committee.

•The council set a public hearing for Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 6:30 p.m. to certify past-due garbage, water, sewer, snow removal, and mowing bills with the intent to place any past-due bill on the tax roll.

•The council approved a variance request by Doug and Jamie Miller on Augusta Avenue. The Millers want to add onto the back of their house, but the front setback did not meet the city code.

•The board appointed Jackie Braun to the planning commission, replacing Joe Voss, who resigned.

•The council accepted three quotes for repairs at the ambulance garage, which is owned by the city and leased to the Paynesville Area Health Care System. The three garage doors, three windows, and a section of sidewalk are to be repaired. The low quote for materials was $4,842.13 from M&M Lumber, the only quote for labor was $550 from Dave Schutz, and the low quote for the sidewalk was $900 from Spanier Masonry.

According to the city's contract with PAHCS, the two will split the cost for repairs at the garage.

•The council approved a $143,203 payment to Duinick Brothers, Inc., for work on the new airport. This pay ment will be covered entirely by the state. The council also approved a change order, costing $4,317, to construct a cement slab and electrical duct for future use as part of a fuel system at the airport.

•The council approved repairs to a lift station pump for $3,600 with Braun Pump.

•The board accepted the high bid for the police department's old squad car, a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria. The high bid was $5,858, plus transfer fees, from Welcome Motors in Chicago, Ill.

•The council approved a cigarette license for the new owners of Gas Plus More for the remaining four months of the year. The pro-rated amount for September through December is $4.

•The council approved a $2,500 forgivable loan to James and Laura Ostlie, who recently bought a Tri-CAP home on Spruce Street. The loan is forgiven over the course of five years if the Ostlies stay.

•The council approved spending up to $1,500 for a new computer for city secretary Jennifer Welling. Her computer is scheduled to be replaced in 2004 but has been acting up, said council member Dennis Zimmerman, whom the council also directed to research costs for a computer projector and laptop.

•The board tabled extending the city's lease with Pitney Bowes for a postage meter. The city has two years left on its lease, with the company making an offer to upgrade equipment while extending the lease by another two years.

Zimmerman spoke against extending the lease to 54 months at $165 per month, noting that where he works they use an Internet company for postage for $16 per month.

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