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Lanesboro City Council


Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
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Lanesboro places moratorium on subdivision developmentBy John TorgrimsonMonday, February 12, 2001

The Lanesboro City Council, at its Monday, February 5 meeting, unanimously approved placing a moratorium on any subdivision development within a two mile radius of the city. The moratorium, which was recommended by the Planning & Zoning Committee, will go into effect immediately and stay in place until the Planning Commission can complete a comprehensive plan on subdivisions, a period not to exceed one year.

This decision comes on the heels of an application by Jesse Buggs of St. Paul to build a subdivision in Section 30 of Holt Township. The moratorium will not affect the Buggs’ three-lot development, which falls under the present Lanesboro subdivision ordinance. Buggs is already working with the city on this project.

It is the city council’s intent to control development around the city and specifically plan out how the city should develop. The city recently extended sewer to the Zenith Street development and is trying to encourage growth in that area.

The council intends to hold public hearings on the subdivision ordinance in the future and will invite adjoining township officials to give comment.

Snow plowing. Considerable time was spent discussing what constitutes a public versus private road, and why some are being plowed and others are not. Part of the confusion seems to be over the fact that some private roads have become public roads by being petitioned into the city or through annexation. In other cases, some roads and driveways are being plowed because of special circumstances where the city has a binding agreement with a landowner.

Scott Strom, and other residents who live on a road adjoining Zenith Street, were before the council to seek clarification on this matter. "I don’t think that we are being treated fairly," Strom told the council, noting that it appears to him that some private roads are being plowed and others are not.

Looking at a color coded map that indicated which streets were being plowed, the council tried to sort out some of the confusion.

"What a mess. We’re not sure what is a public street here," Council member Peggy Hanson said. "But we can find that out. If it is a public street, then we can plow. If it is not, then people can come forward and look into petitioning the city."

"We don’t want to treat anyone unfairly, but we do need to get this clarified," Mayor John Brose agreed.

Council member Kevin Drake made a motion that the city begin plowing the road to Scott Strom’s house, which would effect three residences, until the city can research the matter further. The motion passed with Hanson opposed.

Waste hauling. Dan Good-sell of Waste Management was before the council to discuss a proposed rate increase. Citing increased fuel and energy costs, as well as a tight labor market, Waste Management proposes increasing the drive by costs by 20 cents per month. It would also increase the cost of metered bags by 5 cents. Goodsell told the council that this is about a 3% increase,

In addition to the rate increase, Goodsell explained that a number of cities are moving away from bags to carts. The carts are provided by Waste Management.

"Most towns are going to a cart system," Goodsell said. "They are clean and it eliminates animal problems."

With the cart systems, Waste Management is also offering every other week pickup for low-volume users for $8 per month. Goodsell said that volume based pricing is often used with seniors, who tend to have less trash than other consumers.

At present, the Lanesboro Utilities does the billing for trash hauling. With conversion to a cart system, Waste Management would take this function over.

The consensus of the council was that the cart system, which would cost residents approximately the same amount per month, was worth looking at. The council will inform residents about the cart system through their newsletter. The council tabled any action on the matter until the first council meeting in March.

Towing policy. Police Officer John Tuchek presented a new policy on ticketing and towing cars to the council for review. The purpose was to clarify the duties and responsibilities involving the Lanesboro Police Department as it implements the city ordinance to this effect.

Vehicles parked on the city roadways and alleys for a period of more than 24 hours shall be ticketed. Vehicles shall be towed when a snow emergency exists.

City Attorney Tom Manion said that even when an ordinance does not refer to alleys, state statute as it defines public thorough-fare does take into account alleys.

While Tuchek’s proposal dealt with how the ordinance will be implemented in the future, the discussion did not specifically resolve the running feud between resident John Levell and the city over the towing of Levell’s car from an alley. Mayor John Brose said that this issue still needs to be resolved between the police department, the city attorney, the city administrator and Levell.

Tuckek’s proposal was tabled so that a few changes in wording could be made. It will be put on the agenda for the next meeting.

Other business
• The council will set up a public hearing to partially vacate a 10 foot portion of Rochelle street. Jon Willford of VIS Plumbing is looking to relocate his business to a site near where he maintains a pole shed. According to Willford, he would build a shop and eventually add an office and showroom.
• The council approved two applications for residential improvement in the Small Cities Grant program.
• Beginning on February 12, Rochester City Lines will operate a bus going from Lanesboro to Rochester. The bus will depart from the Bass Pond Parking Lot at 5:45 a.m., with stops at Preston, Fountain, Chatfield and Marion. It will leave Rochester at 4:10 p.m. The service will operate Monday through Friday. Daily and monthly fares are available.

The Lanesboro City Council will meet on Monday, February 12 due to Presidents Day falling on the third Monday of the month.

By John Torgrimson

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