Independence OKs Vinland sewer plans

The Independence City Council Tuesday, Aug. 21, approved plans and specifications for connecting Vinland National Center, 3675 Ihduhapi Road, to sanitary sewers and also authorized the letting of bids for the project.

At the meeting, the City Council also took up other business. Here are some meeting highlights.



Independence City Engineer Brian Miller explained plans for constructing Vinland’s sanitary sewer connection. They call for installing a force main along Ihduhapi Road and connecting it to the force main that runs along County Road 11. Bids would be opened on Sept. 19, thus enabling the City Council to take action on them on Sept. 25.

Miller’s feasibility report for Vinland sanitary sewers estimated costs for the project at $224,572.50. In the report he said constructing the sewer connection would give Independence the opportunity to improve Ihduhapi Road, which has a gravel surface. Vinland Center would pay for constructing the sewer connection.

Current plans and specifications are only for sanitary sewer at this time, and spring would be the time for improving the road, Miller said. This timetable would enable Vinland Center to complete expansion of its facility. So when Independence opens the sewer bids, the city will be looking at costs for the sewer connection only. Additional cost figures would come before the city when it looks at road improvement plans next year.

Located north of Lake Independence, Vinland Center provides drug and alcohol treatment for adults with disabilities, along with permanent supportive housing. Vinland has broken ground for its first phase expansion that is adding 20 beds to the center’s current 40 beds. A second phase expansion would add another 40 beds, bringing the size of the facility to a total of 100 beds. The City Council has approved only the first phase expansion project.

The center’s original plan called for adding a second septic tank to serve the expanded facility. When City Engineer Miller studied the situation, he noticed that the cost of the sanitary sewer extension would be less than or similar in cost to the upgrade of the onsite (septic) system. The sanitary sewer option also removes effluent from the drainage basin of Lake Independence.



City Councilor Norm Wenck reported on a request that the city of Medina is making to the Lake Minnetonka Communications Commission (LMCC) and asked Independence City Administrator Toni Hirsch to work with Medina in making the request. Medina is asking the LMCC to change its minimum requirement for extending fiber optic cable to homes from 30 homes per linear mile to 15 homes per linear mile.

“We’re under serviced because we’re so spread out,” Wenck said about homes in Independence. He suggested that more cities get together so that they can create “a united front” in getting what they want from the LMCC. Seventeen cities make up the commission, and Wayzata and Mound might be convinced to join.



The City Council approved a conditional use permit (CUP) that will enable Ron Lyrek to construct an accessory dwelling inside a barn on his property at 5286 County Road 11. The barn already contains a kitchen and bathroom on a lower floor and has heating and air conditioning. Lyrek is planning to add a bedroom and office in anticipation of having his parents move in.

The barn is a separate structure from the Lyrek home and both sit on 5.5 acres zoned as Rural Residential. Measured at 3,500 square feet, the barn already is connected to sanitary sewer. The accessory dwelling inside the barn is expected to occupy 1,131 square feet, thus falling under the 1,500-square-foot maximum size for an accessory dwelling within this particular accessory building.



The City Council also:

APPROVED a variance that enables Mary Lynch to subdivide her Rural Residential property that is located in a Shoreland Overlay district at 4976 South Lakeshore Drive on Lake Independence. Councilors also approved the subdivision of her two acres of land into two one-acre parcels. A house sits on one parcel and is connected to sanitary sewer. The second parcel is undeveloped and could be connected to sanitary sewer when developed.

APPROVED a request from Donna Mae Johnson for a rural view lot subdivision of her property at 340 County Road 19 in an Agricultural zone.