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Preston requests proposal to develop new comprehensive plan

Fri, Apr 5th, 2013
Posted in Preston Government

By Karen Reisner

City Administrator Joe Hoffman reported at the council’s April 1 meeting that the current 1999 Preston Comprehensive Land Use Plan is 14 years old. Councilman David Harrison was absent.

Hoffman noted that Planning and Zoning had wanted to update the plan in 2009. At that time, it was postponed because of Local Government Aid cuts. He maintained an updated plan will be valuable when making land use decisions. Funding to pay for an updated plan has been budgeted.

The council gave the go ahead to request proposals. All proposals must be submitted by April 23.

Once the process to select a consultant is completed, it is expected that the project to develop a new plan will begin in July and be completed by March 1, 2014.

The new plan will consider the changing needs of the community.

The four goals of the plan are to have a document to guide land use decisions, raise public awareness of planning and development issues, gain public input, and to help the city better serve residents. There will be a Core Committee including members of the city council and P and Z members. At least two public meetings will be held to help develop goals and objectives.

Upon the development of a Final Draft, a final presentation will be made at a public hearing prior to the adoption of the plan.

Destination Medical Center

A resolution in support of the DMC proposal for southeastern Minnesota was adopted. Mayor Kurt Reicks remarked he supported the proposal “whole heartedly,” pointing out the large number of people that go from here every day to Mayo Clinic to work. Councilman Robert Maust maintained, “It should be a no brainer.” Seventeen area cities have passed resolutions of support.

The expansion is expected to bring as many as 30,000 new jobs to the area, $2.5-$3 billion in additional tax revenue to the state over 20 years, and millions in new local and other tax revenues.

Other Business In Brief

•Dodge-Fillmore-Olmsted County Victim Services will recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month by placing teal ribbons on every third light pole along Fillmore Street during April. The ribbons are to remind people of sexual violence, promote prevention, and encourage them to take a stand against sexual violence.

•The deterioration of the brick facing on the pedestrian ramp on the 100 West Block of Fillmore Street was discussed. Hoffman noted that they have had complaints. Public Works Director Jim Bakken explained the brick was just decorative and in front of a poured cement wall. Hoffman suggested they discuss options and get feedback from property owners.

There have been requests for garbage receptacles to be placed in the downtown area. City staff will look at different options and come back to the next meeting with recommendations.

•Hoffman said the city computer ‘server’ had blown an interface card on this day. Fortunately, they were able to get it up and running. However, it is eight years old and was due for replacement three years ago. Hoffman says it runs non stop and is a critical piece of equipment, adding that when the server is down files can not be accessed. He will get some numbers together for the next meeting for the purchase of its replacement.

•Summer council meeting dates were discussed at the request of David Harrison who has business obligations that conflict with the current Monday night schedule. Most members suggested that they have made arrangements to keep the Monday night time at 6:00 p.m. open. Harrison is expected to be at the next meeting when the meeting schedule will again be on the agenda.

•Approval was given to again purchase flower baskets for the city. Last year 30 were purchased at a cost of $30 each. The city received $435 in donations to help with the cost. Last year summer help watered the flowers on week days and volunteers watered them over the weekends. Volunteers will again be needed to water on weekends.

•EDA recommended that $15,000 from the revolving loan fund be loaned to Trish Keating. Interest on the loan will be at two and one half percent with a 10 year pay back. The current space where the Repeat Boutique is located has been sold. The loan is to assist with the down payment to purchase the property at 148 Main Street SW and to help with improvements.

The business has been in operation for a year and has been growing. It started with 34 and now has 200 consignors and has 13 volunteers. The building being purchased has been empty for some time. Reicks says they should support the purchase of property in town to start a business. The loan was approved.

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