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Crosslake looking at assessing unpaid P&Z charges

Web posted February 18, 2014
By Paul Boblett, Editor

The Crosslake City Council directed city staff to send certified letters to some property owners who owe a total of approximately $3,500 in unpaid charges at their regular monthly meeting held Monday, Feb. 10

In November of 2013, City Clerk Char Nelson brought to council’s attention approximately $11,000 in unpaid fees for planning and zoning services.

Nelson said there were 68 properties originally and 53 have paid their fees in full. She told council that many of them said they never knew they owed and would have paid; while others told her they’re “not paying a dime”.

Of the 15 properties that remain unpaid; five of those have responded and requested more information from the city.

Council approved sending the remaining ten who have not responded certified letters. If those letters are not replied to, the council will certify and assess the unpaid charges through Crow Wing County property taxes.

City attorney Brad Person told council that the city could send certify unpaid charges to the city twice a year. Currently the City does it once a year, generally for unpaid sewer charges.

Person added that many cities that certify only once a year miss out on foreclosures and other transactions, therefore collect nothing on the bills.

Council agreed with Person’s suggested to begin drafting an ordinance allowing the city to assess charges twice a year for a future meeting.

Public Safety
Crosslake Police reported 120 calls to service in Crosslake for the month of January, including 24 traffic stops, 20 alarms, 20 EMS calls, and 13 agency assists.

For Mission Township, the department reported 22 calls to service, including 10 traffic warnings.

Council approved the contract for police services with Mission Township at an annual cost of $48,000. The payments are made in four installments.

The Crosslake Fire Department reported 17 calls in January including 13 medicals and two mutual aid structure fires.

Council approved the annual contracts for fire service to Manhattan Beach for $10,389.15 and Fairfield Township for $17,878.31. Cost to Manhattan Beach and Fairfield Township are based on 3.5 percent of the each area’s tax capacity.

The council approved the purchase of a new water tender for the fire department in the amount of $229,104. Also approved was a recommendation by Crosslake Fire chief Chip Lohmiller concerning the purchase agreement for a new water tender from a company in Galveston, Texas in the amount of $2,000. The company, HGACBUY, will oversee the building of the vehicle.

To help pay for the new truck, the fire department will be selling two older vehicles for $53,000.

Planning and Zoning
Council heard a brief update on the Land Use Ordinance revision. Chris Pence from Crow Wing County Land Services told council that while the comment period was technically closed, they are still accepting comments.

A public hearing concerning the revised ordinance will be held on Friday, Feb. 28 during the Planning and Zoning commission’s regular monthly meeting.

The documents are available for viewing at the city website www.cityofcrosslake.org

In other council business:
• Heard an update from Cindy Myogeto and Mike O’Connell concerning the 40th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration to be held March 15. Council approved the Clover Dash 5K, which will be held on the parade route the morning of the parade.

• Approved the purchase of new carpeting for the Council chambers and city hall offices in the amount of $12,208.10.

• Set the Local Board of Appeal & Equalization meeting date for Friday, April 11, 2014 at 10 am at City Hall.

• Approved an amended contract with Kitchigami Regional Library Services. The agreement includes $5,000 in funding to be used for materials.

• Approved two donations in the amount of $948.60 from the Parks and Library (PAL) Foundation to the city for Light up the Dam $648 and another $300 to cover expenditures for Minnesota Backyard Birds who manage the wildlife feeding program.

• Gave permission to Parks, Recreation and Library director Jon Henke to interview and hire two part time call in position pending background checks.

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