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Agreement with Family Dollar okayed

Fri, Mar 9th, 2007
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Members of the Preston City Council wrapped up their business in less than a half hour at their March 5 meeting. Mayor Pro-tem Heath Mensink chaired the meeting in the absence of Mayor Kurt Reicks.

A development agreement with Sorensen Development laying down the conditions and terms for the building of a Family Dollar Store was approved with one amendment. Mensink suggested that language be added to address the concerns of Chad Wangen of the Preston Liquor Store. The amendment was added to require that a guard rail or protective columns be installed to protect the liquor store's sign. Sorensen will have to sign off on the amendment.

The agreement lists several conditions which need to be met by the developer including the submission of a grading and drainage plan and a utility and storm sewer plan prior to the beginning of construction. Both plans must be acceptable to the City. The City will vacate the 33' by 183' section of Farmers Street and will retain a 15' easement along the south line of the vacated property as a sewer line runs near the middle of the street. The building to be constructed will be 9,000 square feet. Construction will start prior to August 31, 2007 and is expected to be completed prior to December 31, 2007.

Assessment Policy

Brett Grabau of Bonestroo and Associates reviewed a new "assessment policy' for the city. The new policy aims to treat property owners fairly and provide guidelines to apply assessments equitably. Grabau explained that the existing policy which suggests that property owners pay 80% of the cost of street improvements is too high. The new policy would generally assess property owners 40% of the cost with the city picking up the remaining 60%. The second major change would be a detailed 'blueprint' for council members on ways to figure a property owners total footage. For example, a corner lot's footage would include 100% along the front of the house and only 20% on the side street. Grabau added that the council always has the option of adjusting the guidelines up or down.

Grabau stated that the updated policy provides reasonable numbers. Property owners should not generally be assessed more than what the improvements add to their property value.

Members were just handed the ten page document at the meeting. Therefore, the council will vote on whether or not to approve the document as written at the March 19 meeting allowing members time to study the documents.

Other Business

• A formal resolution was adopted affirming the issuance of a tax exempt bond on behalf of FCHS, Inc. with the contingency that the city attorney approves the language in the document. The city of Preston has no obligation beyond the issuance of the note.

• City Administrator Joe Hoffman noted that he has heard many compliments on the work the city staff did in handling the recent large volume of snow.

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