Otsego wants involvement in Albertville fire budget

The Albertville City Council tabled approval of the Otsego fire contract agreement, for minor revisions.

Otsego did indicate it wants more involvement with the fire budgeting process since the city anticipates more growth.

The council also took action regarding the Interstate 94 collector-distributor project financing.



Staff brought up the five-year service contract with the city of Otsego.

Albertville annually enters into a fire service contract with Otsego. The charge for Albertville services rendered by Otsego is determined by the annual fire department budget split by the percentage of fire district tax capacity for each city.

Staff said that some key issues include:

• With the growth in the city of Otsego increasing, Otsego has requested to be more involved with the fire department budget process due to the fact that as it continues to grow, its percentage will also increase.

• Changing from an annual agreement to a five-year contract.

• Creation of a Fire Advisory Subcommittee consisting of two council members from each city, city administrators, finance directors and the fire chief.

Council members John Vetsch, Dan Wagner, Larry Sorsensen and Jillian Hendrickson reviewed the item but agreed to table it pending minor revisions (Mayor Mark Meehan was absent).



In other news, the council discussed an agreement to waive special assessments by Outlet Mall owners.

As part of the I-94 collector-distributor project currently underway, the city is proposing to special assess the outlet mall properties in the amounts of $448,000 (west side of County Rd. 19) and $192,000 (east side of County Rd. 19).

City engineer Adam Nafstad has been working with the owners in an attempt to reach agreement on terms of the special assessment, in exchange for the mall agreeing not to appeal the special assessment.

Nafstad said the mall tentatively agreed upon the terms under which the city would modify the timing and term of the mall’s assessment, and the mall would waive its right to appeal. Nafstad added that the waiver would save the city tens of thousands of dollars in appeal costs should the mall not sign the waiver and decide to appeal.

The council voted 3-1 (Vetsch opposed) to approve the waiver agreement.

The assessment will be spread over 20 years from the date of the assessment.

In related news, the council authorized an amendment to the Minnesota Department of Transportation cooperative agreement that allows the city to receive an additional $10,992 from the state for construction of the I-94 westbound collector-distributor project.

In other action, the council:

APPROVED a resolution amending the comprehensive plan to adopt the 2012 visioning study as an addendum, and adopting the land use plan dated Jan. 18, 2010, into the plan. The plan defines vision, goals and priorities during the next 20 to 30 years.