As part of the 2019 Highway 52 improvement project, installation of a sidewalk on the west side of the highway from Highway 30 north to the southern edge of the north entrance to the car dealership (near the city limits), has become an issue for some property owners in Chatfield. The city council at its November 26 meeting after a lengthy discussion decided to support requests to adjust the sidewalk location. MnDOT at this point still intends to continue with its current plan.
Three property owners between Cabin Coffee and Subway have expressed objections to MnDOT sidewalk plans. Two residential property owners basically agree that the sidewalk should be installed closer to the curb to save mature pine trees and to allow for a more comfortable distance from their residences. Neither of them object to the sidewalk if placed closer to the street.
The third property owner objects to a sidewalk, which he doesn’t feel is needed. If it is installed he would like it closer to his property line instead of closer to the street. He is also concerned about it causing a steeper slope to access his parking lot.
Councilor Paul Novotny said a compromise would make sense. The state wants to put the sidewalk where it normally does. He stated that we requested the sidewalk, so it seems right to mitigate the damage, save trees, and make two of the land owners happy. Councilor Mike Urban agreed and said he appreciated the willingness of the landowners to work with us. Councilor Josh Broadwater said his only concern was the need to maintain the sidewalk that will be right next to a large pine tree.
Councilor John McBroom said there is a need for a sidewalk on that side of the highway, especially for the handicapped. Novotny noted that the state is paying for the sidewalk, so we will have to abide by their terms.
Urban said they should send a resolution from the city to MnDOT asking them to look at it again and to make an effort to appease the property owners. A resolution of support for the property owners’ request was approved unanimously.
Other business in brief
• Approval was given for the final payment of $10,000 to be paid to Edge Contracting with a condition for the submission of the final paper work. City Engineer Matt Mohs said the total paid for the Enterprise Dr. project came in under the original contract price of $739,127 and under the revised contract of $765,502. With the final payment, the total paid to Edge Contracting for the project is $706,128.
• The first consideration of Ordinance #438 Fees and Charges 2019 was approved. City Clerk Joel Young explained it is still a work in progress. He reviewed several changes suggested in committee. They will be in the document before the second consideration is voted on.
• A payment in the amount of $58,804 to Ricchio, Inc. was approved for the swimming pool project.
• Brian Burkholder reported the city again met the standards of fluoridation. The Minnesota Department of Health Oral Health Program and Drinking Water Protection gave the city the 2017 Water Fluoridation Quality Award for optimal adjustment of fluoride concentration in the drinking water. Burkholder said it takes some effort from the water department to qualify for this award.
• Young explained a couple of updates being discussed for the personnel policy. He suggested vacation time be reported on a monthly basis instead of for each pay period. Also, it is simpler if comp time is used within the fiscal year, rather than carried over to the next year. He suggested changing the policy so any unused comp time is cashed out at the end of the year. Taxes must be paid on earnings in the year they are earned. The changes were approved as presented.
• A resolution was adopted to begin the hiring process for an ambulance director.
• An update was approved to the no-fault sewer back up policy. When residents experience a backup at no fault of their own, those property owners may choose to clean up and make any repairs. A clause will be added to the policy for people who want to be paid for their labor. The cost of self performed cleanup and repair labor cannot exceed $22 per hour.