Twiford redevelopment dominated discussion at the Chatfield City Council’s January 28 meeting.
Kristi Clarke, consultant planner, explained issues that have come up regarding the platting of the property located at the intersection of Twiford and Division Streets, which extends southward toward Grove St. The 1.3 acre lot across from the former Kwik Trip is the planned future site of a Dollar General retail store.
The issue lies with four very small triangle shaped pieces on the property that Mark Severtson, Olmsted County Surveyor, found that were exceptions to the city ownership of the property. These small triangles have different ownership or no ownership.
Clarke said it is a simple plat except for the legal issues. She suggested the city council approve the plat as shown or approve it without the noted exceptions. It will take some time to get these four exceptions sorted out. Either option will result in a legal plat.
During the public hearing on the final plat, there were no comments from the public. City Attorney Fred Suhler suggested taking care of the triangles by leaving them out of the final plat, since a specific owner can not be pointed to. The building will not be placed on any of these areas. Clarke suggested they could be left as outlots and the issues can be cleaned up over time. The small triangle areas are either unclaimed due to mapping errors or owned by Ferrell Gas. Ferrell Gas has agreed to sign paperwork for development of the site.
A resolution was approved approving the plat as shown and also without the noted exceptions. This will provide approval for the final plat and also allow time to resolve some ownership issues without having to schedule another public hearing before the city council.
Clarke reported that a review was initiated in November of the 18 conditional use permits (CUPs) that are in effect. A report was presented.
Clarke explained in the past few years two CUPs were processed to allow post-frame construction for an accessory garage. In both cases siding and roofing materials matched the single family home. The council directed City Attorney Suhler to draft changes to the ordinance to allow post frame type construction for accessory garages in R-1 and R-2 districts if they comply with rules for use of appropriate materials.
EDA Director Chris Giesen reviewed the proposed development agreement between the city and the developer, DGI-Minnesota, LLC. The EDA recommended approval of the development agreement by a 4-1 vote.
The developer will purchase the property (Twiford Redevlopment area) for $210,000. The EDA will pay the outstanding special assessments ($94,415.30) on the property using the Rochester sales tax fund. The Rochester sales tax fund is expected to be reimbursed over time with TIF money which will come to the city per the agreement.
The developer agrees to build a Dollar General (approximately a 7,500-square-foot building) on the site by October 1, 2019. The developer requested TIF assistance due to site challenges, work required to prepare the site. The TIF was requested to be provided “up front.” The city will reimburse $210,000 “up front” once the building is complete. The city will collect and keep the TIF generated (estimated to be $20,400 per year through 2041 or a total of $428,000). Giesen said they should come out ahead over a period of years.
To date, the city has spent $244,000 on acquisition of the property and other expenses. An additional $135,000 was assessed for infrastructure improvements. The total expense to the city comes to $379,000.
The agreement was approved as presented as recommended by the EDA. Urban voted no. Approval was also given for the city to pay the outstanding assessments from the Rochester sales tax fund. Urban voted no. He explained he was not in favor of the plan because he was worried about having funding available for other projects.
The sale of the property is expected to close in late February and construction is expected to be completed by late July.
Other business in brief
•Payments were approved for the swimming pool project. The sixth payment to Ricchio will be in the amount of $91,902. The fourth payment to Benike will be in the amount of $296,878.82.
•There were two candidates interviewed for the ambulance director position. Both were well qualified. Rocky Burnett was hired effective February 9. Approval was given to start the process to fill his current position, deputy clerk.
•Brian Burkholder suggested residents check their water temperature. If it is 38 degrees or less they should run the water to prevent freezing. Burkholder reported that frost was down 36 inches.
•The Fillmore County Board of Equalization is scheduled from April 22-25.