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Paynesville Press - December 17, 2003

City Council sets referendum on Sunday liquor

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 10.

•The council set a referendum on whether to allow on-sale liquor sales on Sundays in the city for Tuesday, Feb. 10, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Paynesville Area Center.

*The council agreed to request a meeting with area legislators to discuss issues important to the city before the upcoming legislative session. The proposed date is Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m.

•The council approved changing the name of the joint aquatic park committee to the ad hoc joint recreational committee. The committee, a joint effort between the city and Paynesville Township, will look for possible financing options for a community aquatic park.

At the request of the township, the city is considering joint ownership of the Koronis Civic Arena in return for Paynesville Township's participation in building an aquatic park.

Council member Harlan Beek expressed concern about taking over the township's debt for the facility and wanted to know if Paynesville Township has a debt retirement plan for the arena. City attorney Bill Spooner said that if the city becomes part owner of the arena, it wouldn't nece

ssarily have to assume the debt. According to city administrator, Steve Helget, a joint agreement could be formed for all of the city's and the township's recreational facilities.

•The council approved scheduling an information meeting about the 2004 Street Improvement Project for Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 6 p.m. Streets scheduled for improvements in 2004 include portions of Belmont Street, Belmont Drive, Hudson Street, Railroad Street, Lake Avenue, and Minnie Street, as well as the Industrial Loop, Ampe Drive, Claire Avenue, and Service Road. This meeting was originally scheduled for early December but has been rescheduled for January.

•The council also heard a verbal report from engineer Jim Schultz about the 2004 street improvement project. According to Schultz, the intersection of Washburne Avenue, Railroad Street, and Minnie Street will be closed for about three days to allow upgrades to public utilities. The city would like to schedule the closure for after Town and Country Days, which will be held from Saturday, June 19, to Wednesday, June 23, in 2004.

Schultz also told the council that the city would like to bid the paving of Service Road with the 2004 Street Improvement Project. Assessment hearings for Service Road will likely be held in conjunction with the other assessment hearings.

•The council approved preparing documents for an EDAP loan to Brian and Alisa Wiess, owners of Koronis Sports Apparel. The $50,000 loan will be used to pay down debt and help finance a future expansion. The loan will be from the city only; Paynesville Township will not participate in the transaction.

•The council approved a payment of $1,995 to Ruhland Commercial Consultants, Ltd., for services at the Paynesville Municipal Airport.

•The council approved plans and specifications for a fuel system at the Paynesville Municipal Airport. The fuel system will consist of a 10,000 gallon, double-walled fuel tank with a delivery system.

Originally, plans were made for a 4,000 gallon tank, but airport commission members thought it would be more cost effective to buy larger quantities of fuel. According to council member Dave Peschong, aircraft fuel is more stable than gasoline used in automobiles, so there is little danger of the fuel going bad if it is not used right away. A 4,000 gallon system was estimated to cost about $55,000, and engineers estimated that the larger system should be similar in cost.

The council also approved re-zoning the airport from agricultural to highway commercial.

•The council approved a $12,525 bid from Hydro Engineering, Inc., to replace five tower boxes and control panels and repair five pivots in the city's irrigation system.

•The council approved hiring Shane Schmidt and Paul Clark as firefighters contingent on passing their physical examinations.

*The council approved allowing property on Washburne Drive, owned by Phillip and Margat Gottwald, to be sold by Stearns County at a public auction for back taxes.

•The council approved a gambling permit for the Paynesville Sportsme n's Club to hold a raffle at the Paynesville American Legion on Friday, March 12.

•The council approved rezoning property on River Street, owned by Donald Wagoner, from light industrial to residential. Although it has been used as residential property, the property was zoned light industrial, and Wagoner could not make improvements to his house until it was rezoned.

•The council approved allowing police chief Kent Kortlever to dispose of abandoned bicycles by giving them to Jim Stanger. The bicycles were advertised to be sold by bids, but the police department didn't receive any bids for them.

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