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Lanesboro applying for a small cities grant

Mon, Mar 12th, 2012
Posted in Lanesboro All

There was a public hearing before the Lanesboro City Council meeting about the city applying for a small cities development grant program. There were no residents there to voice any opinions. Michelle Vrieze was there to explain the grant to the council.

Vrieze said the grant would be for both commercial and residential areas, and would include both theatres. The total grant amount would be $449,000.

“There’s a better chance if you keep it under $500,000,” said Vrieze.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has already approved the pre-application from Lanesboro and Mabel. The two cities submitted a joint application. The money will provide rehabilitation for low to moderate-income households and provide commercial rehabilitation as well.

The council approved going ahead with the full application for the grant program.

Alley agreement

The city received a letter from Rick and Cheryl Lamon about dedicating an alley adjacent to their property to the city. The council looked over the agreement and discussed some concerns.

Council member Ceil Allen said she had a problem with the paragraph that states the Lamons and any future owners of their property would be exempt from any present or future assessments regarding the alley. She did not like the part about future owners, and Mayor Rahn agreed. Joe O’Connor said they don’t know what the future holds, or how things will change with that alley. City Attorney Tom Manion said he doesn’t see the assessments of that property ever being very significant. The alley will remain open, as it is a fire lane. They did not make a final decision at the meeting.

Whittier Street assessments

O’Connor said he looked into what other cities have done as far as assessing utilities. Robert Thompson was at the meeting, and he has approached the council with concerns about how they assessed the Whittier Street project.

O’Connor said he spoke with City Administrators in Byron, Eyota, and Stewartville, as well as Mike Bubany from David Drown Associates, and discovered that the average assessment ranges from 20-25 percent. The average cost per foot of the assessments was $50-$70 per foot. Lanesboro assessed the Whittier Street project at $61 per foot. O’Connor said he felt they were right in line, and that most places also assessed the utilities.

Thompson thanked O’Connor for looking into it for him.

Other Business

The council approved a request to have a Groom’s Supper on the Coffee Street bridge, as long as they agree on a contract.

John Davis of the Lanesboro Art Council thanked the city for all of their support, and asked for their continued support and partnership. The council approved.

Vickerman said the citywide clean up day will be on May 19.

She also said the playground equipment near the softball field has been recalled, and they have $4,000 in credit to work with to be used before December 13.

The council approved the following items:

-Having an exotic animal petting zoo at the Rhubarb Fest

-A list of requests from the Farmer’s Market

-Paint striping on Hillcrest near the church for parking, and in the parking lot

-A wine license with strong beer for the restaurant Intermission

-The county ambulance contract

-Putting out a Request for Proposals for garbage removal

-Sponsoring an ad in the Republican-Leader supporting Lanesboro Schools

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