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Crosslake Council Issues Sale of Bonds for New City Hall, Fire Hall Remodel

Web posted July 16, 2019
By Paul Boblett, Editor

The Crosslake City Council adopted a proposed Capital Improvement Plan for 2019-2023 at their regular monthly meeting held July 8, 2019.

The CIP will provide funding to build new city offices and remodel the existing City Hall building for the Fire Department and Emergency Services. The new city offices will be built on land acquired at County Road 66 and Daggett Bay Road.

Total cost for the project is $5.115 million, in addition to the bonds, $1.3 million will come from the city’s reserve fund. The issuance of $3.815 million in bonds were approved unanimously by council following a very brief public hearing in which no one from the public offered comment.

The city is responsible for an estimated $12-15,000 as part of the bond rating process. City Administrator Mike Lyonais explained that initial cost will save the city around $350,000 over the life of the bond.

Lyonais told council that citizens do have a 30-day period in which they can petition to oppose the bond sale, and if that happens, the city can still move forward with the project through the Economic Development Authority.

Council plans to complete the sale of the bonds at their next regular meeting August 12, and if that happens, construction could begin in September on the new facility.

Public Safety

Council heard from resident Tim Prem, who addressed street parking issues and safety concerns near and at the West Shore Drive area public lake access during the 4th of July holiday weekend.

After a lengthy discussion between Prem and the council, council authorized the posting of No Parking signs on the residential side of Sunrise Island Road and Sunrise Boulevard.

Prem told council that he is the second generation to be fighting this issue, and that this is first time any action has been taken.

Council also heard from three residents of the Sandcrest Association who requested council’s guidance to allow their residents to use golf carts on public roadways. Following a lengthy back and forth between the trio of residents, the council and Police Chief Erik Lee, the issue was dropped, as the use of golf carts is not allowed on city roads.

Council approved the installation of flashing stop signs at the intersection of County Road 103 and County Road 3. The action was based on a recommendation from the Public Works Commission. The city will incur half the cost, with the county assuming the other half. The city is responsible for the maintenance of the solar powered, LED signs.

Crosslake police had 204 calls in Crosslake for June 2019 and 83 in Mission TWP.

Crosslake Fire had a total of 28 calls for service in June and a year to date total of 108 for 2019.

Planning and Zoning
Lyonais briefed council on an email from Tim Houle, Crow Wing County Administrator, outlining the county’s decision to give their 120-day notice to terminate the Memorandum of Understanding between CWC and the city of Crosslake for Planning and Zoning Services.

Houle stated in the July 1, 2019 email that there is no acrimony or malice in the cancellation of the MOU and that the county “continues to enjoy the solid relationship that we have with city staff and expect we will have many other productive opportunities to work together in the future.”

Houle’s email said the reasons are internally driven at the county due to staffing issues and the county’s desire to rotate staff through the city office to deploy the best talent to the greatest needs, which has been an issue.

He went on to say, “I think we underestimated the degree to which each elected body would still be driven to make ordinance changes based on circumstances that they encountered, which the other party was not encountering. As such, I think we miscalculated the degree to which that could be sustained over time.”

He concluded by stating that between now and October 31, the county will continue to have the administrative staff person stay in Crosslake but they plan to rotate in field staff for two days a week to complete site visits. He added, “in short, there will not be instant turnaround on permits, but we should still be able to handily meet our goal of issuing permits within ten days.”

Lyonais told council he needs to begin work on a transition plan, equipment needs, staffing and licensing fees, adding, “The Personnel Committee will be involved and the job has changed, we changed the whole system, we’d like to have some consistency.”

He added that he would be contacting all of the council to see how they would like that transition to happen.

In other council action:

• Approved a recommendation from the Personnel Committee to remove Crosslake Community Center Manager of Parks, Recreation and Library Jane Monson from probationary status.

• Accepted two donations: $500 from American Legion Post 500 for Red Ball Diamond Aggregate; and $100 from Robert Johnson, $50 each to the Fire Department and Police Department.

• Agreed to a letter of intent between the City and Hy-Tec Construction to place the City Hall Project into their schedule. Also stated in the letter was that if the project proceeds through the Sourcewell Construction Procurement program, which it is, that the city will commit to a contract with Hy-Tec.

• Appointed three new members to the newly established Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) committee: Paul Schmelz, Kirk Schnitker and Douglas Moan.

• Accepted the resignation of John Pribyl from the Public Works Commission. Council thanked Pribyl for his contributions, and approved Tom Swenson to the open seat that expires Jan. 31, 2022.

• Approved the special water quality/sewer committee to develop an amended sewer ordinance and procedures that will require all homeowners with private septic systems to have their systems inspected and pumped, if needed, every three years.

• Approved a construction cost share and maintenance agreement between Crow Wing County and the city for water quality improvements at Loon Lake, adjacent to CR 66 and Manhattan Point Boulevard.

• Approved moving up a scheduled road reconstruction project on Big Pine Trail.

• Approved changes to the Community Center Policies and Rules, and the Rules for Open Gym to better define gym use.

• Agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding between the city, the county, the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District and the Big Pine Lake Association regarding the reconstruction of the rock dam in Big Pine Lake. The city will reconstruct the road following the project’s completion.

• Approved charitable gambling licenses for 5 organizations.

• Approved a proposal for engineering services from Bolton and Menk for sanitary sewer system extension to CR 16 and CR 66. Council all schedule a public hearing for October or November on the issue.

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