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Retiring Crosslake Firefighter Dave Demcho (back row center) was honored for his service during the Crosslake City Council meeting on January 6, 2020. - photo by Paul Boblett
David Demcho

Crosslake City Council delays Moonlite/CSAH 66 Sewer extension

Web posted January 14, 2020
The Crosslake City Council unanimously approved delaying any action on the CSAH 66 Moonlite Bay sewer extension project until 2021 at their first regular monthly meeting of 2020 on January 6th.

In a memo to council from the Public Works Commission, it was stated that “the commission recommends the council delays any work on said sewer extension and reviews the project no later than January 2021. The decision was based on the fact that the engineering work required to obtain bids is not completed. This is because the go ahead for Bolton and Menk was delayed by the council which means the bids will come in during April and May and it was felt the bids will be high. They should be bid in February and March.”

Other factors cited in the memo included: the importance of storm water grants approvals and that almost all of the impacted residents did not feel the extension was necessary at this time and requested a delay.

“If we delay for a year, we will have completed the work we need to complete, will have the ability to obtain bids at the right time of the year and will know if sales tax monies will be available to help pay for the project.”

The commission also recommended for staff to contact the county to see if the resurfacing of CSAH 66 could be moved up in time (currently scheduled for 2024) so that the sewer and the roadwork could be completed at the same time to save the city some money. The Commission recommended evaluation in a year and to be aware that if grant monies may have to be used within a certain time frame. This will help determine when the project might be accomplished.

The Commission was in agreement that Bolton and Menk should be allowed to complete the bid documentation now, so that the project would be shovel-ready to go out for bids.

The memo concluded by stating, “The general feeling is that obtaining a bid in late April and May is not the right way to move ahead and the bids should be obtained in the months of February and March to obtain the best price.”

Language in the motion included council reviewing the project no later than January 2021.

Retiring firefighter Demcho honored

David Demcho, a Crosslake firefighter for 28 years was recognized for his service to the community by the council. The entire Crosslake Fire Department was on hand to present the retiring Demcho with several items, including a beautiful plaque with a fireman’s ax.

Demcho served the community for 28 years, holding many positions in the department including Firefighter, fire apparatus operator, and Captain. He also served many years as president of the Crosslake Fire fighters Relief Association. During his 28 years of service to the community of Crosslake, he responded to over 1000 incidents.

Local Sales Tax Option projects revised

Council also moved to reduce the list of regionally beneficial projects that could be funded through a potential local sales tax.

The original list of five sewer projects was narrowed to three and the timeline was reduced to 15 years. The changes were made following meetings with state lawmakers Carrie Ruud and Dale Lueck, who after reviewing the initial list thought it could be looked at as too large and costly.

The shorter list of projects would not include any general fund dollars (provided the sales tax becomes law), and was reduced from the larger list at $21 million to $6 million. The breakdown would be $1.2 million from estimated assessments and $4.8 million from the local sales tax revenues.

City Administrator Mike Lyonais told council that Lueck and Ruud thought reducing the scope would allow a bill to fare better with state lawmakers. One other benefit to the revision is that no monies would need to be levied for the three projects.

The revised list included Northerly Expansion (CSAH 66/Moonlight Service Area) at $1.6 million, the Easterly System Expansion (Daggett Lake Service Area) at $2.4 million, and the Biosolids and Wastewater Plant Rehabilitation project, in which the work was reduced from $9.1 million to $2 million.

Items excluded from the list were the Southerly System Expansion (East Shore Service Area), Northeasterly System Expansion (Community Center Service Area), and the cutback to the BioSolids and Wastewater Plant Rehabilitation project.

The local sales tax still has hurdles to clear: a bill being sponsored, and passed, by the State  legislature, then voted on by Crosslake voters.

Fire Hall update
A proposal for $100,000 from Hy-Tec Construction was approved for architectural design services to remodel the existing city hall facility to the new fire hall. AHy-Tec representative told council that they could begin remodeling city hall as soon as city offices are moved in to the new building. It is estimated that the new city hall facility will be ready for staff to move in by mid-2020.

Organizational Appointments
Regular monthly meetings will continue to be held at 7:00 pm the second Monday of the month; acting
mayor, Gary Heacox; official newspapers, Northland Press and Echo Journal; city engineer, Widseth Smith Nolting, Bolton & Menk, storm sewer; city attorneys, Brad Person (Breen Person) for civil, Johnson, Killian & Seiler, labor; Crow Wing County, prosecuting; Briggs & Morgan, bond council; and David Drown Associates, bonds.

Public Safety
Crosslake Police reported 129 incidents in Crosslake and 32 in Mission Township for December 2019. The year and reports for Crosslake showed 2,166 calls for Crosslake and 745 for Mission Township.

Crosslake Fire Department reported 24 calls in December 2019 and a total of 384 calls for the year.

Public Works
Council scheduled two public hearings for Friday, January 31, in concerning proposed improvements to Big Pine Trail and Wild Wind Ranch Drive. The first hearing begins at 6:00 pm for Big Pine Trail, followed by Wild Wind Ranch Drive at 7:00 pm.

The hearings will be held at Crosslake City Hall.

In other council action:
• Accepted two donations: Judith Nelson, $5,000 to Crosslake police; Crosslake Firefighters Relief Association $1,330 for scene lights, and $290 for a service award.

• Approved a metes and bounds subdivision for Andrew Nelson. Approved pay application #4 from Hy-Tec in the amount of $234,965.65 for the city hall project

• Approved a $1 per class pay raise for Silver Sneakers and aerobics instructor Donna Kieffer.

• Met in closed session to discuss pending litigation, no action was taken.

The next regular meeting of the Crosslake City Council will be held Monday, February 10 at City Hall.

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