Lanesboro council looks at several sewer issues, property vacation
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 10:03 AM
At its regular meeting on Monday evening, the Lanesboro City Council considered some ongoing sewer issues on its lengthy agenda. Dillon Dombrovski, representing Yaggy Colby Associations of Rochester, first presented verification that the sanitary sewer replacement under the dike has been completed. The contractor completed another smaller emergency repair project, which needed to be done, adding $2,250 to the cost, for which the council approved payment. The amount for the original project of $88,968.45 was paid by Public Utilities.
Dombrovski also discussed with the council the need to either repair or replace the storm sewer line running under the highway and the building housing the Riverside on the Root restaurant. The drain in front of the American Legion building catches water flowing down the hill and diverts it underground through that line to the river. Considerable erosion has occurred over the years.
The two options include installing new linings into the existing line or replacing the line and rerouting it to go south of the building on its way to the river. Rerouting would cost approximately $50,000; adding liners to the existing pipes was estimated at about $12,000.
Acting Chair Joe O'Connor asked if the lining would solve the erosion around the pipe, to which Dombrovski replied that it "may or may not" resolve that issue.
Council member Tom Dybing asked about the life expectancy of each option, to which Dombrovski said there is "no best guess," and that new pipe, which would solve the erosion problem, should last 50 to 70 years.
Council member Keith Eide asked if any property owners would be assessed for the cost of the repairs.
City Attorney Tom Manion's first response was that no, it is city drainage versus private property that goes into that storm sewer, then added that, however, there is the question of whether the repairs could be seen as improving the adjacent property values.
O'Connor pointed out that it would be better to take the long range approach, at a cost of about $55,000 including the miscellaneous costs such as permits, and that determining whether the cost was assessable would make it a spring project.
He added there needs to be a feasibility study done first, and the city needs to get multiple quotes.
The council approved getting the engineering report on the feasibility of rerouting the storm sewer.
Dumbrovski also presented a proposal for professional services for roadway improvements in Sylvan Park.
There were two areas needing attention, according to the report: the campground roadway, including Fillmore Avenue to the Kirkwood Street intersection, and the community center parking lot.
The cost for the professional services, which would take the project only up to the bidding point, would be $15,700. O'Connor pointed out that was just the start of the cost, and that there were many other projects which also needed attention.
Council member Ceil Allen pointed out the need to prioritize, since there is never money to cover all of the possible needs. No action was taken.
Vacating city property
Cheryl Lamon spoke to the council about her and spouse Rick Lamon's request to vacate a piece of city property on Beach Street East; their intent is to put a building on this green space.
Lamon has put stakes in the ground to indicate where the building will be placed. The building is a duplex in LeRoy which had been owned by Rick Lamon's parents, and would be moved to a new basement on the Lanesboro site.
It would be used for storage on the lower walkout level and the rest would be rental, either daily or monthly.
O'Connor asked Manion for a review of the procedure for vacating city property. Manion "walked" the council through the process of identifying if the intent of use could be a concern, which has to be factored into the public interest, and notice of a public hearing about the vacation must be mailed to property owners being affected.
On the question of which potential property owners would be included in the mailing, O'Connor said it would be a "wide net...because it is better to over-inform than under-inform."
The council approved starting the resolution, and set the day of the public hearing for the first day of October at 5:30 p.m.
City Administrator Bobbi Vickerman reported for the EDA committee, saying that a representative from Nanotechnology in Rushford had visited the EDA, looking for interest in bringing nanotechnology to Lanesboro. No particular person, location, or idea was identified, and no action was taken. She will talk with the chamber about getting a link to Rushford on its website.
The Chamber of Commerce and the Lanesboro Art Center reported success in getting advertisements in store fronts for upcoming programs in Lanesboro. It approved a letter of support for the grant for improving the bathhouse in Sylvan Park, and discussed who would be involved in the 20/20 Initiative project.
Allen reported from the Library Board that the wallpaper had been removed in the library area, and it was painted, both in preparation for the mural which "is coming."
Dybing said that the Planning and Zoning Commission had approved the plans for an addition to Anna V's, and also the Lamon proposal discussed earlier. It discussed the alleyway behind the commercial district as having a problem with garbage. It approved plans for a greenhouse behind the school, to be used for educational purposes.
Vickerman stated that the Historical Preservation Committee (HPC) reviewed and approved the changes to Anna V's, after assurance that the State had also approved it. It approved the cost for Barb Johnson to attend the National Conference; she returned with flash drives with all of the information. These are available at city hall for anyone interested.
She reported that the HPC guidelines are at the library and the city office. The next project will be expanding the downtown Historical District and applying for money to attain residential guidelines.
According to Vickerman, O'Connor reported for the Public Utilities Commission that the sewer work is complete, as previously discussed, as is the water meter installation, and it approved the 2013 budget.
The council approved the resolution to apply for a grant to improve the bathhouse at Sylvan Park, and approved the appointment of Tony Semmen as a new member of the Fire Department.
Liquor Licenses for the League of Minnesota Cities regional meeting in Lanesboro on Oct. 3 was approved, as was that for the Fire Department steak fry on Oct. 15.
The council approved the SEMCAC contract to do energy assistance.
City employee Michelle Peterson's one-year raise to $13.80, based on performance evaluation, was approved. Office hours, after a 90-day trial run, will stay the same. The piano at the community center is being considered for sale, and options are being identified.
The Public Utilities Commission and the city budgets have line item amounts to sustain the Lanesboro 20/20 Community Sustain Initiative, and will work with all of the non-profit organizations in the city to implement this project.
The proposed river glass ordinance was tabled so that all of the affected parties can review it.
The council approved seeing the special option that is sometimes available for organizations with special needs in order to expand the theater liquor license from wine only to wine and beer.
Concern was expressed for Lisa Brainard and David Drake, both of whom are hospitalized, and individuals contributed toward gifts to be sent to both.
The preliminary budget for 2013 was approved, with a starting point of a 4 percent increase. This approval includes the ability to decrease this amount of 4 percent prior to December.