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Crosslake Council Nixes Proposed Second Monthly Meetings

Web posted October 19, 2021
By Paul Boblett, Editor

The Crosslake City Council reversed their position on holding two meetings a month. By a 3-2 vote at the Monday, October 11 council meeting, council member Aaron Herzog stated he thought two meetings were too much for the amount of business the council has to take on.

“To say we’ll meet 24 times a year, I just don’t believe we have that level of business to take care of,” said Herzog on October 11.

Council passed a motion in September to hold two regular meetings per month, on the second and fourth Mondays, by a 3-2 margin, with Herzog voting with Mayor David Nevin and council member Marcia Seibert-Volz on the measure.

Herzog was the swing vote as a motion failed to amend the City Code to formally hold two monthly meetings. Herzog was joined by Dave Schrupp and John Andrews voting against the second meeting.

Andrews stated, “I don’t think it’s a good use of city staff time to have two meetings at night, to require staff to be here after hours”, suggesting that one of the meetings could be held during business hours.

Nevin told council that he is the only member of the council that is actively working, a second monthly meeting would allow him to work more.

PAL Foundation Donates New Playground Equipment at Community Center
Alden Hardwick of the Park and Library (PAL) Foundation gave an update on replacing and expanding the playground equipment at the Crosslake Community Center.

Hardwick said the cost of the equipment is $43,438.53 before installation. He added that the installation will be done by volunteers, which will save approximately 15 percent.

Council accepted a donation of $40,438.53 to cover the equipment. Hardwick told council that two private donations of $5,000 contributed to the total cost, and the balance will be covered by PAL.

Park and Recreation Director TJ Graumann told council that this is phase one, and he plans present more detailed information at a future meeting.

The old equipment will be removed.

Transportation Alternatives Grant
Crow Wing County Highway Engineer Tim Bray gave an update on Transportation Alternatives Program Grant. Council approved submitting the application, which will be adjusted for the projects that have already been completed.

Total project cost is around $900,000, that requires a local match of 20 percent, to be shared by the the City and County, but some items like engineering costs are not eligible for funding. The fiscal responsibility for the county and city is around $505,000.

The Transportation Alternatives Program covers items including sidewalks, crosswalks, signage, and green space.

Council approved moving forward with the grant application.

Public Safety
Crosslake Police reported a total of 281 calls in Crosslake during the month of September 2021, those included 78 traffic warnings, 31 EMS, 31 driving complaints, 28 alarm calls and 24 agency assists. Crosslake PD reported 39 calls in Mission Township that included 24 traffic warnings and five agency assists.

Crosslake Fire Department reported 43 incidents in September, including 31 EMS calls, two grassfires and one motor vehicle accident with injuries.

North Ambulance had a total of 99 callouts in September.

Planning and Zoning

Several items were approved including:
• The Final Plat for The Woods of Crosslake;
• The Preliminary and Final Plats for Woody’s Tall Pines. Council accepted cash in lieu of land for the Subdivision in the amount of $10,500;
• The Preliminary and Final Plats for Fawn Lake Park First Addition. Council also approved an ordinance amendment naming the unnamed roads in Fawn Lake Park First Addition as East Ravenwood Drive, West Ravenwood Drive, and Whitehawk Trail, and to publish a summary ordinance amendment in the official newspapers;
• The Preliminary and Final Re-Plats for Carabau Pointe;
• Approved by a 4-1 vote (voting no, Nevin) amending various sections of Chapter 26 of the Land Use Ordinance and to publish a summary ordinance;
• Adopted an Ordinance terminating any moratorium on Non-Residential uses within the Shoreland District and RR5 Zoning Districts;
• Tabled a decision on the city taking on septic design review and installation inspections and putting out an RFP for service providers. The County currently performs this, but as of January 1, 2022, they will no longer provide this service.

Public Works
Council approved a bid evaluation for the Clarifier Improvements for the City Sewer system in the amount of $447,600 from Rice Lake Construction.

Public Works Director Ted Strand told council that original estimates were around $1 million and the Public Works commission recommended this action.

Strand said work will begin this winter, and the council directed City Administrator Mike Lyonais to bring forward funding options for the next meeting

In other council action:
• Approved the Crosslake Garden Club to place a Mitten Tree in the Crosslake Community Center for donations of warm clothing for the community.
• Tabled discussion on Zoom attendance for council members to a later date. Asked Attorney Brad Person for more information on the state statute regarding attendance at council meetings;
• Accepted the following donations: Two from the PAL Foundation $569.89 for a Pickleball umbrella, and $128 for the Bridge Club room rental at Crosslake Community Center; $50 from John and Virginia Miller for the Library; and two for cart tours; $25 from Marty Hoffman and $27 from Phyllis Fahey;
• Accepted Jayme Knapp for the Public Safety Commission;
• Directed City Attorney Brad Person to contact HyTec Construction to finish up the work at City Hall within seven days or other action will be considered. But the work on the City Hall doors was completed according to City Administrator Mike Lyonais by phone on Friday, October 14;
• Approved renewal of the City’s health insurance plan.
• Approved Chief Lee’s recommendation to purchase a 2022 Squad Car, and for the former squad to be used for Planning and Zoning, or city purposes by staff;
• Approved an upgrade for the antenna system at Fire Hall;
• Approved the Crosslake Fire Department Training Tower/Facility use agreement, operations manual, and fee schedule;
• Approved a No Parking Zone along the east side of CSAH 66 from the Liss Building to Daggett Bay Road;
• Approved replacing the green City Hall directional signage with City Hall and Police Department signs, on both north and south bound directions;
• Approved an agreement for consulting services for GASB 75, which addresses employee benefit plans;
• Tabled the Public Safety Commission concerning the ordinance, function, and guidelines of the commission;
• Tabled Police Chief Lee’s request to promote interim Sergeant Jake Maier to a permanent position to the November meeting;
• Approved Chief Lee’s recommendation to move Officer Haines to full time status;
• Council adopted a resolution ordering improvement and preparation of plans for CSAH 66 Sanitary Sewer and Stormwater Quality Improvements;
• Directed the City Engineer to send letters to affected property owners concerning status and assessments for 2022 road projects;
• Approved changing the time of Public Works Commission meetings to mornings;
• Directed City staff to come back with recommendations on taking minutes at the Public Works Commission meetings;
• Council was reminded that on April 20, 2023, the City’s agreement with Crow Wing County for the Joint Facility will expire. Discussions with the County are ongoing and include space needs.

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