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Paynesville Press - December 29 , 2004

Township approves railroad crossing gates

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Township Board of Supervisors took the following actions at their meeting on Monday, Dec. 20.

*The board approved the installation of railroad crossing gates on Cross Creek Road. This crossing has been the scene of fatal accidents in the past, and visibility at the road/ railroad intersection is not good.

The cost of the railroad crossing gates is estimated to be $175,000, of which the township's share would be $17,500 (10 percent). The rest of the funding would come from federal aid through MnDOT. The earliest the project will take place is 2006.

*The board appointed township resident Laura Lindeman to fill the unexpired term of treasurer Sharon Wendroth, whose resignation will take effect at the end of December 2004. The board previously approved having the township books audited through 2004 to insure a proper turnover. Lindeman's term will expire in March, when township treasurers will need to run for two-year terms again.

*The board approved a joint powers agreement with the city of Paynesville for two sections of the Lake Koronis Recreational Trail. According to the agreement, capital expenditures will be shared 75 percent by the city of Paynesville and 25 percent by Paynesville Township for the sections of trail linking the city with the city beach and for the section linking the city with the Glacial Lakes State Trail. Maintenance costs will be shared 62 percent by the city and 38 percent by the township.

*The board heard from a group of residents, most of whom live on Cherrywood Road, who are concerned about the proposed path of the trail as it runs from the city to the city beach.

Board chairman Don Pietsch said that, while planning of the route is currently underway, the board has not given permission to use Cherrywood Road for the trail. He said that the private landowners along the route will be asked first to see what easements can be obtained. Then, where necessary, the use of public lands, such as roads and road right-of-ways need to be explored. Pietsch did not rule out the use of Cherrywood Road as a last resort for the trail.

*The board approved vacating a section of undeveloped road on the Lee and Barb Lund property.

*The board also granted a variance to the Lunds for the construction of a 2,880 sq. ft. unattached storage building, which is 630 sq. ft. larger than allowed by the township ordinance.

*The board granted a variance to Willard Schultz to construct an unattached ancillary building on Cedar Point Road. The new garage will be 38 feet from the centerline of the road, not 63 feet, but will line up with the garages of the neighbors.

*The board approved a preliminary plat, submitted by Kevin Wall, for Koronis Hills Estates. The plat, located along Koronis Drive, divides his 10-acre property into two lots.

*The board approved a final plat for Nokelby Estates, a single-lot plat on Breezewood Road.

*The board approved a variance for Bug Bee Hive Resort to construct a storage shed on the north side of Crestridge Road. The variance allows the 40' x 72' building 50 feet from the centerline of the road, instead of the usual 63 feet.

The variance was granted with the following conditions: dumpster and recycling equipment enclosed and located outside the 50 foot setback; one 30-foot approach to the property from Crestridge Road; trees planted along the road right-of-way to screen the building from view; and a county-approved stormwater plan.

*The board approved a conditional-use permit for Mike Kotschevar for an addition to his Service Equipment building on Minnie Street. The addition will be used to expand his business of building and repairing of turkey-industry equipment. The conditonal-use pemit is contingent on the business remaining agriculturally based.

*The board approved a settlement with a township resident who was charged $500 for a fire call but refused to pay. The resident did not call before burning, and the fire department was dispatched as a result. The board agreed to the settlement for $150, rather than threatened court action, because a box to call before burning was not checked on the burning permit.

*The board also approved having only current, elected township officials issue burning permits.

*The board noted, while reviewing the police report, that the largest police problem in the township lately has been with dogs running at large. The township ordinance requires animals to be leashed when not on their owner's property.

*The board received applications for the following donations for 2005: Paynesville Area Historical Society ($2,000) and the Paynesville Area Center ($3,000). The board will take action on these requests at their yearly organizational meeting in March 2005.

*The board was reminded that its next meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m.

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