Albertville supports workforce housing concept

The Albertville City Council passed a resolution of support for a workforce townhome housing concept.

The council also discussed sharing the St. Michael building official services, and heard an update about the Interstate 94 project.

DOMINIUM

Dominium Development was present with a resolution seeking support of the proposed Albertville Meadows II and allocation of housing tax credits.

The tax credits would be provided by the Minnesota Housing and Finance Agency.

Dominium’s site is located on 64th Street in the Karston Cove addition in western Albertville. It proposes to construct 28 townhome units.

The company built 37 townhomes next to the Albertville Meadows apartments, and also owns a portion of the Cottages senior living at County Rd. 19.

If constructed, Dominium would lease the units for workforce housing.

"What they’ve done in town is build a high-quality unit," city engineer Adam Nafstad later said about the company. "It generally exceeds the city’s architectural and performance standards. They’re an onsite management company that will have someone present in the development."

Nafstad also said since Dominium acquired the rental properties, the number of calls for police activity has decreased by 50 percent.

Residents must meet a threshold of minimum and maximum income.

Councilors Dan Wagner, Jillian Hendrickson, John Vetsch and Larry Sorensen approved the resolution of support (Mayor Mark Meehan was absent).

The next step is Dominium will make an application to the Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

"If they receive approval for a tax credit, I would think they would be developing that parcel in 2013," Nafstad said.

The building could be ready for occupancy at the end of 2013.

The site was previously platted for owner-occupied townhomes. But the former developer went bankrupt and the property has been vacant for about six years.

ST. MICHAEL

SHARING

In further news, the council discussed the building department vacancy since former building official Jon Sutherland left for another job.

Right now Albertville is working with St. Michael building official Paul Heins as the temporary building official.

"We’re exploring options to make this arrangement permanent where it is a shared building department," city engineer Nafstad later said. "The other option is the city could contract out the services. Staff and council are going through a due diligence period to explore what would be best for the city."

Nafstad said Albertville has been working with St. Michael for about a month and that the arrangement has gone very well.

"I think the community wants to see this kind of joint work and in some sense expects it," he said.

I-94 PROJECT

In other matters, the council heard from engineer Nafstad about the Interstate 94 westbound collector-distributor project.

He said retaining wall construction has gone very well. Westbound freeway lanes were shifted to the inside shoulder, and a temporary barrier will remain in place during the rest of the project.

The westbound on-ramp at County Rd. 37 is currently closed for the duration of the project. A detour takes travelers to the westbound on-ramp at County Rd. 19.

The westbound off-ramp at County Rd. 37 is current a temporary ramp to allow reconstruction of the old ramp.

Nafstad said recent rain has slowed the project to about two weeks behind schedule, but that contractors are hoping to catch up with better weather, and that the project is stilly targeted for completion in late fall/November.

In other action, the council:

DISCUSSED sign potential for the new Center Cut Meats building (former Steffens site). Center Cut was informed that a potential roof sign does not conform to city code, but that monument or pole sign options would be explored.

-Compiled by Aaron Brom

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