At the January 6 Lanesboro City Council meeting, the council continued its discussion on the possibility of having Westview Drive declared a city street. The city has been maintaining the road for some years now and due to a drainage issue, may need to do some work on it. All of the landowners on that road have signed a petition allowing the change except for David Landro, who wanted to discuss it further with the council. The matter was tabled last month to allow City Attorney Thomas Manion time to review the original easement agreement for Landro’s property. The wording for the easement did not include any information on road maintenance or a road agreement. Landro informed the council that he is not in favor of the city taking ownership of the street. “This to me doesn’t sound like a good thing to do,” he said, explaining that he was opposed to the city taking his easement and then assessing him for any repairs or improvements made on the road. Manion pointed out that the homeowners will not be assessed unless they directly benefit from improvements.
“I don’t think the city is wanting to take this over so it can be convenient for the city. I think it’s being pushed by the homeowners who would rather not have to plow their own road and would rather not have to repair their own driveways,” Landro stated. “This is going to end up in a court of law. We’re not going to take this lying down.”
Mayor Jason Resseman assured Landro that the council would take his thoughts into consideration when a decision is made. “We are not threatening to take any of your land,” he said. The matter was tabled until the February council meeting.
The consent agenda was approved and included the accounts payable, 2020 meeting schedule, the wastewater facility design amendment work order, a grant agreement with the Minnesota Historical Society for the Sons of Norway, and a temporary liquor license for the Lanesboro Art Center. Council member Tom Smith asked if it would be possible in the future to include proof of liability insurance with the temporary liquor license applications for the council to review before approving. City Administrator Michele Peterson agreed to include that information.
The council reviewed and approved the following resolutions: Resolution 2020-1 designating Merchants Bank as the city’s official depository, Resolution 2020-2 designating the Bluff Country Newspaper group as the city’s official newspaper, Resolution 2020-3 authorizing lawful gambling for the Lanesboro Fire Department Relief Association, Resolution 2020-4 authorizing signature authority for city accounts, Resolution 2020-5 establishing mileage reimbursement rates at $0.58 a mile, Resolution 2020-6 appointing the Fire Relief Association board of trustees, Resolution 2020-7 appointing the fire department officers who were selected by the members of the fire department, and Resolutions 2020-8 and 2020-9 approving two lot split requests.
A zoning amendment for the Lanesboro Public Utilities Wastewater Treatment Facility was passed after being approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
At the previous meeting, the council has asked Bolton and Menk to revise their landscape/screening plan for the wastewater treatment facility as the original design submitted had a price tag of approximately $500,000. The updated proposal came to a total of $218,955. “They did a good job cutting that down,” Mayor Resseman noted. “It’s a much better plan.” The new design will utilize more greenery and trees, which will help to lower the costs.
The council discussed an event at the community center to which the fire department was called. When they arrived, it was found to be a false alarm. The fire department’s policy is to charge for responding to calls whether or not an actual fire was involved. “That is their policy, and we respect that policy which that entity made,” Mayor Resseman said. He encouraged anyone who had an issue with the policy to speak with the fire department and make their concerns known. Pat Shanahan, one of the organizers of the event, believes that having the policy in place will discourage Lanesboro residents from calling the fire department due to the cost. “It’s not the industry standard to charge for false alarms,” he said. Mayor Resseman agreed to attend the next fire department meeting to give them an opportunity to address the issue. “I appreciate you bringing your concerns about this policy,” he said to Shanahan.
The Heritage Preservation Commission is still in need of new members as they are on the verge of not having a quorum. Anyone interested is encouraged to apply.
Ambulance Director Deane Benson will be hosting a meeting at 7 pm on January 22 to discuss the lack of volunteers for the ambulance service and how that affects the community as well as the requirements for becoming a first responder. A rural board meeting with the township boards will be held on February 10 at 7 p.m., and the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting will be held on April 6 at 5:30 p.m. Mayor Resseman noted that all of the meetings pertaining to the city are publicized on social media, the city’s website, in utility bills, and local newspapers. He encouraged residents of Lanesboro to attend and get involved in different organizations.
Election judges are needed for the March 3 presidential primary, August 11 primary election and November 3 general election. Anyone interested can contact the city offices for more information.
The next Lanesboro City Council meeting will be held on February 3 at 6 p.m.