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Preston Council discusses Family Dollar and other issues

Fri, Feb 23rd, 2007
Posted in Government

A public hearing was held on the proposed vacation of the north end of Farmers Street. Richard Sorensen of Sorensen Development explained that the extra land was needed to build the Family Dollar, without it there will be no store. The city requires a 15' easement because of a sewer line that goes down near the center of the street. Sorensen agreed to the easement.

Preston Liquor store owner Chad Wangen was concerned about the proposed 15 foot driveway. His sign is close and he suggested that it could be damaged by trucks using the driveway. City Administrator Joe Hoffman asked Sorensen if they would be willing to put a curb in that area. Sorensen agreed to putting a curb there. Mensink said that if more was needed, a barrier could be constructed to protect the sign. Wangen was concerned about drainage. Hoffman assured him that the engineer will have to sign off on a drainage plan. His last concern was the location of the Dollar Store sign. Hoffman said that the sign would be on the north side and would not block the liquor store sign.

The council decided to wait to act on the vacation of Farmers Street until the development agreement is reviewed and signed.

A variance request by Sorensen Development was approved as recommended by the Planning and Zoning Committee. City ordinance requires a ten foot setback for parking lots and loading areas.

Chris Gastner said that the development agreement will be brought back on March 5 for the council's approval.


Steve Fenlon representing Fillmore County Handicapped Services requested that the council act as the government unit to sponsor tax-exempt financing/refinancing. Fenlon explained that this would involve refinancing two existing homes in Preston and financing a new residential group home in Rushford. He said that the tax-exempt financing reduces the interest expense by one third. The bonds must be issued by a government unit. Fenlon explained that the city just acts as a 'conduit'. A public hearing was set for February 26 in the council chambers.

Street Feasibility Report

Brett Grabau, Bonestroo and Associates, reviewed a feasibility report for street and utility needs in four areas: Corn Cobb Acres, Valley Street Area including portions of Brownsville Street, Houston Street, Valley Street, Franklin Street and Washington Street, Main Street from St. Anthony to Pleasant Street, and Center Street from North to Spring Street. The total cost is estimated to be about $946,000. Grabau noted that about $655,000 is for the streets, $60,000 for storm sewers, and the rest utilities.

The report proposes that the assessments be $35 per lineal foot for the Corn Cob Acres area, $20 per lineal foot for the Valley Street area, $50 per lineal foot for Center Street, and $50 per lineal foot for Main Street.

The council set a Public Hearing for March 12 at 6:00 p.m. Hoffman suggested that there will probably be a need for a bigger room than the council chambers. The location will be determined later.

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