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Paynesville Press - Oct. 29, 2003

Paynesville City Council meeting

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 22.

*The council approved accepting an engineering report and setting a public hearing for paving the service road along Highway 55 and building an access road and a parking area to the city's BMX park

City engineer Pete Carlson informed the council of two options for improving the service road. The first option includes adding curb and gutter to the street and could cost $87,600. The second option eliminates curb and gutter and could cost $67,200. An access road to the BMX park with a parking pad could cost $24,700.

According to Carlson, assessments could pay for part of the service road project and the city would pay for the access road and parking area. (See story page 1.) The work would be done next summer as part of the city's street project.

A public hearing about the project is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 26, at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.

*The council approved extending water and sewer service to the BMX park. Public works director Ron Mergen told the council that water is necessary at the site now, and he wants to add sewer service at the same time just in case it is needed later. Mergen estimated the project to cost $2,500 for materials and renting a backhoe.

*The council presented a certificate of appreciation to Phil Johnson of Dark Enterprises. Johnson donated over 40 hours to helping the city design its BMX park.

*The council approved changing two ordinances to facilitate allowing 2 a.m. bar closings within the city of Paynesville.

In the case of changing from standard time to daylight savings time or from daylight savings time to standard time, bars will close two hours past midnight of the previous evening to prevent extra bar time on these nights.

The change in bar closing time will take effect in November, after the ordinance is officially published.

*The city council also changed the city's downtown parking ordinance, as a result of the change in the bar closing time. Instead of parking being prohibited on downtown streets from 2 a.m. until 6 a.m., parking will be prohibited from 3 a.m. until 6 a.m.

Parking restrictions on other streets still begin at 1 a.m. and go until 6 a.m.

*In a 4-1 vote, the council approved a ground lease agreement for private hangars at the Paynesville Municipal Airport.

The lease was opposed by council member Harlan Beek, who thought that allowing private hangars at the airport will reduce the demand to lease space in the city's hangar.

According to council member Dave Peschong, the city's hangar was intended for shorter-term use. He told the council that the airport commission worked for several months to ensure that existing private hangars are up to code and meet minimum appearance standards before being moved to the new airport.

Council members Peschong, Jean Soine, and Dennis Zimmerman and mayor Jeff Thompson voted for the lease agreement, with Beek against.

*The council also voted 4-1 to approve a bid of $15,300 from Caldwell Asphalt for asphalt at the site of the new tee hangar and in front of the private hangars. A state grant could cover up to 60 percent, or $5,600, of the cost of asphalt.

Peschong, Soine, Thompson, and Zimmerman voted for accepting the bid, while Beek voted against it.

*The council also approved a building permit for the tee hangar. The permit cost will be $2,700, and the city will get 20 percent.

*The council heard a verbal report from Carlson about the street improvement project on Lake Avenue. According to Carlson, the contractor will be here this week to do patching, ramping, and repairing driveways wherever possible. Some driveways won't be repaired until spring.

*The council approved forming an aquatic park joint powers committee with Paynesville Township and the Paynesville Area School Board to work out a lease agreement for school property that could be used for an aquatic park. Representing the city on the committee will be Zimmerman and Thompson.

*The council approved renewing the city's lease with Pitney Bowes for a postage meter at a cost of $250 per month for 54 months.

During a previous city council meeting, council member Dennis Zimmerman recommended an Internet postage service that he uses at work. But after listing the pros and cons, city staff opted to stay with Pitney Bowes.

*The council approved deferring special assessments on Lake Avenue for Nolene Stanger. Minnesota statute allows deferment for some senior citizens and some retired disabled homeowners for whom it may be a hardship to make the payments.

*The council approved a $25 bid from the Paynesville Area Center for a camcorder and tri-pod that had been declared surplus property.

*The council approved a change in the personnel policy that raised the city's contribution to city retirees' health insurance from $310 per month to 75 percent of the current employee health insurance cap. For every 10 years on the job, retired city employees with at least 15 years of service can have their health insurance premiums paid by the city for one year.

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