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Lanesboro City Council Report: Streetlights and holiday lights for Lanesboro

Fri, Sep 22nd, 2006
Posted in Government

At their regular meeting on September 18, the Lanesboro City Council decided to proceed with the installation of ten streetlights in the downtown area of Parkway Avenue. At an estimated cost of $4,400 each, the sixteen-foot poles will have a flower basket bracket, a flag holder, and an outlet at the top and be the same antique color as the streetlights on Coffee Street. The replacement of the streetlights will be staggered to keep some lighting on the streets during the work. The council opted to follow the recommendation of Norman's Electric and build a concrete base for the poles to prevent salt and sand from wearing at the poles.

Funding for the streetlights will come from the $31,500 sale of 302 Hillcrest. The council intends to ask the Utilities Commission to cover the remainder of the expense (around $10,500) since maintenance of the current aging streetlights comes from the Utilities. City staff will help with the project by digging out cement pieces; licensed electricians will do actual installation.

The streetlights could come in the first week of November and, depending on the weather, all ten lights could be installed yet this year.

The installation of new streetlights makes holiday lighting easier to accomplish. New streetlights with an outlet on top will be able to power the white lights trimming downtown buildings. Lights and garland can also be wrapped around the new poles and plugged in at the top. City staff hopes to get the Parkway buildings outlined for this season, with the exception of two buildings whose owners have opted not to participate.

A group of citizens including Julia Borgen intend to work to decorate the city park for the holidays as well. The council is considering asking citizens for $5 donations toward Christmas lights when an upcoming survey is conducted. The council noted the state would need to be contacted concerning streetlights on highways 16 and 250. Legislative assistance may be needed for the lights as well as curb and gutter along those highways.

Ox Trail Road Update

Council member Tom Dybing reported to the council he'd gotten a representation map of the city limits. According to that map, the city and Carrolton Township share the road with Carrolton Township on the west and north sides of the road. Council consensus was that the city needed to know for sure whether that is indeed the case. This would require a professional survey at a cost of around $2,000. The council tabled the issue until the October 2 meeting; they plan to contact the town board to discuss sharing the survey expense. The city will also contact Craig Bloomer of the DNR about the road and the DNR's stand on any future work on Ox Trail.

Scandinavian Inn Addition Hearing

Peter and Vicki Torkelson's plans for an addition with a tower to the Scandinavian Inn were presented in a public hearing following the regular council meeting. Nothing but positive statements were given at the hearing. A response from the state historical architect presented concern about the size of the addition and the tower, but left the final decision to the city.

Torkelson informed the council he had addressed each of the five concerns originally offered by the state: he added a transition space between the old and new parts of the building; he made the tower narrower, shorter, less ornate, and moved it to the back of the building; he removed the filigree from the new portion of the building, leaving it only on the old "jewel" of the building; he preserved the roofline of the old building; he made the new addition narrower.

Initially, the council told Torkelson the issue would need to go to the Planning and Zoning Commission and then to the HPC (Heritage Preservation Commission) with a final decision October 2. Torkelson, wanting to get started on the addition, protested, noting he'd understood a decision would be made that evening. Planning and Zoning had already approved the footprint of the addition; the only question had been the tower height. The council responded by reopening their regular meeting following the hearing and, acting as the HPC since it currently has no quorum, approving the design as presented. The addition was approved based on income reasons (going from four bedrooms to five bedrooms) and on the fact Torkelson had evaluated and made changes as suggested by the state historical architect.

Other business

In other business the council:

• assigned Rob Wagner a Bluff View address;

• received a community survey from Carla Noack for their input; Noack stressed the survey was intended to build consensus and promote positive energy for the future;

• learned the library had been vandalized by youths; City Administrator Bobbie Torgerson caught the vandals in the act and is working with them on the situation;

• passed a motion that Parkway Pub and the Saloon need to come into compliance by adding an operable food license and serve food by December 2007 or face losing their Sunday liquor license.

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