City Engineer Craig Britton was authorized at the March 13 meeting of the city council to provide landscape design services to improve access to the historic Haven Wall. Councilor Dave Frank was absent.
The Heritage Preservation Commission is driving this project to provide a plan to improve access to the city owned site located at 212 Winona St. SE. The intention is to provide pedestrian access from Winona St. and from Old Territorial Rd. using existing easements. The city is responsible for improvements and maintenance of Haven Wall which is a historic resource. The estimated cost for the landscaping plan is $5,000.
Enterprise Dr. property sale
The second consideration and publication of Ordinance 464 (sale of city owned property) authorizing the sale of the city owned Enterprise Drive lot to Joshua Broadwater LLC were approved.
An agreement was approved with Joshua Broadwater LLC allowing the purchaser use of the property prior to the date of sale for temporary storage and staging. The EDA provided a six-point agreement and recommended access to the property as of April 1. The sale is expected to be completed by May 1. If the sale were not to be completed the property will be returned to the city in a like or better condition. The buyer shall pay an additional $4,000 escrow which will be credited to the purchase price of the property, but this amount will be nonrefundable in the event the sale is not completed as agreed to. With the agreement of the city engineer a temporary drive may be placed into the property.
Councilor Broadwater abstained on each of the votes pertaining to the sale of the Enterprise Dr. property.
Other business in brief
•Chris Giesen explained that the applicants (Jill Harstad and Lindsay Eide) for the athletic club (Fifty Two Fitness Corp) TIF district did understand that they would be responsible for the cost of setting up the TIF district, which they had requested. But they hadn’t realized they had authorized the city to actually establish the TIF district. The request to establish the TIF district was approved in April 2022. The TIF district was established at a cost of $10,226.25 which was about one-third higher than estimated.
The TIF district was to assist in the construction of the facility. The city’s policy is to have the developer reimburse the city for costs incurred creating the TIF district. However, the project will not move forward due to some factors out of the control of the developer, including higher costs than expected for construction and design.
The EDA recommended that the city council approve a resolution providing some relief to the owners, allowing them to be responsible for just 50% of the original invoiced amount. This had been agreed to by the owners. A resolution was adopted approving the relief as recommended by the EDA.
•The first consideration of Ordinance 465 (Administrative Code Update) was approved. City Administrator Joel Young explained the Administrative Code needs to be updated to comply with recent changes made to the City Charter. Many of the changes pertain to the creation of the office of city administrator. The ordinance will also repeal a provision that has required the sale of property owned by the city to be authorized by the passage of a specific city ordinance.
•A resolution establishing the terms of employment with the city administrator was adopted.
•The council approved the use of “Best Value Contracting” for 2023 Street Project bidding. This will involve setting criteria up front for a project. Contractors will be evaluated on certain criteria. The awarding of a contract will not be just based on the lowest bid. Councilor Paul Novotny maintained the lowest price contract may not always be the lowest price when the job is completed.
•Young met with legislators to request changes in the TIF district law. The law covers structures of up to 15,000 square feet. The requested amendment would make that 15,000 square foot limit apply to the first floor only. The amendment, if passed, will help with efforts to build a hotel in Chatfield.
•The city council will next meet on March 27.