Osseo favors concept for downtown apartment proposal

The Osseo City Council received an update about the Block 6 project during its Monday, Sept. 24 meeting.

The council also discussed possible future projects and purchases in its Capital Improvement Plan.

Here are some of the meeting’s highlights.

BLOCK 6 CONCEPT

Bill Beard, applicant for the Block 6 concept plan, was before the council to present an updated concept site plan for the project. The project would be located just west of Central Avenue between Fourth and Fifth Streets N.W. (just north of city hall).

Last May the Beard Group answered a request for the Block 6 Redevelopment Project and was selected. Beard said the project is currently a concept and a site plan package would be presented to the council in November/December.

“Tonight we are asking of you, to give us a thumbs up, thumbs down reaction to concept plan,” Beard said.

This is was the concept plan for the Block 6 project looks like. The project would consist of 72 apartment units.

This is was the concept plan for the Block 6 project looks like. The project would consist of 72 apartment units.

The project would consist of 72 apartment units, made up of one bedroom/one bath, two bedroom/two bath and three bedroom/two bath. Rents range from $925 for a one bedroom, $1,330 for a two bedroom and $1,800 for a three bedroom.

There would also be affordable units within the project, 14 of the 72 units. Rents for affordable unit range from $794 for a one bedroom, $943 for a two bedroom and $1,083 for a three bedroom. To qualify for an affordable unit a person’s income cannot exceed 60 percent or 80 percent of the median household income of $83,900. One person could not make over $32,250 (60 percent) or $45,500 (80 percent) in income. He added these affordable units are not Section 8 housing.

“People ask us if these apartments are nice,” Beard said. He went on to say all the apartments — including affordable units — would have granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, solid wood cabinets, full-sized washers and dryers, 9-foot ceilings, and balconies or patios. Some units will have gas fireplaces as well.

The entire building would include amenities for residents. These would be a wi-fi club room, exercise room, BBQ/grilling area, electronically controlled access and on-site storage lockers.

There would also be heated underground parking with 70 stalls, along with 22 exterior garages and other outside parking.

The city would be asked to transfer $1 million it received in grants from the Metropolitan Council into the Block 6 project. This grant money was previously awarded to the city and set aside specifically for this project. The developer is investing $1.5 million in equity into the project. No tax increment financing would be used for this project.

“As soon as [the project] is built and developed, the tax revenue comes directly to the city,” council Duane Poppe said.

Councilor Mark Schulz said, “I think this is a really good thing.”

Mayor Al Lindquist asked if the project could be expanded in the future if surrounding land becomes available. Beard said they could extend the project and make it into more of an “L” shape.

The council approved unanimously the updated and revised concept site plan from the Beard Group for Block 6.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN

The council also was presented with proposed expenditures in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2013 through 2017.

In 2013, the preliminary general fund budget has a transfer of $463,440 to the CIP. These funds combined with the Police Seizure Fund and sale of vehicles should be sufficient to pay for the 2013 proposed CIP expenses, according to city staff.

Proposed CIP expenses in 2013 include: a new police building for $1.5 million, a public works dump truck for $170,000, replacing the alleys for $100,000, a new police management information system at $33,000, an unmarked police car for $28,000 and a new police squad at $26,500.

Seal coating will take place every year at a cost of $80,000, except in 2013 where the cost is $160,000. Spray patching at $45,000 a year will also happen annually.

The dump truck would replace a truck that is almost 24 years old.

In 2014, proposed CIP expenses include: street reconstruction for $1 million, a new fire pumper truck for $300,000 and replacement of computers and software for $3,000.

The new pumper truck would replace the 23-year-old truck the fire department is currently using.

In 2015, proposed CIP expenses include: alley construction of $100,000, public works pick up truck for $31,500, public works tractor for $28,000 and police squad for $27,500.

In 2016, expenses would include: street reconstruction for $1 million and a public works loader for $130,000.

Finally, 2017 expenses would include: alley reconstruction for $100,000 and police squad car for $28,500.

“This doesn’t mean we are getting everything,” Councilor Rick Weber said.

Councilor Poppe added this was a way to plan for the city’s infrastructure in the future.

“You just can’t wait for a dump truck to die before you plan on how you are going to replace it,” City Administrator Douglas Reeder said.

The City Council seemed receptive to the proposed requests. The exception was Councilor Allan Hartkopf who stated he did not feel the fire department needed a new pumper truck.

The proposed CIP expenditures will continue as planned for, as the council okayed the concept approval of the CIP.

OTHER

In other action, the council:

TABLED action on amending the conditional use permit for Heinen’s Motorsports at 21 First Street N.W. until the Nov. 13 meeting. This will allow Heinen and the city to negotiate the conditions.

APPROVED the spray patching project with a cost of $29,675 from RCM Specialties. All streets and alleys with damage will be repaired.

REMINDED residents that Oktoberfest is Saturday, Oct. 6, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. behind Main Street Pharmacy.

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