Corcoran looks to prepare for development

It’s coming, development that is.

But before it does, the city of Corcoran wants to cross its “T’s” and dot its “I’s” and have a plan in place.

The council also approved architectural and construction management contracts for the new public works facility, and discussed the budget related to proposed staff cost-of-living and insurance increases.



The city council was updated about the sewer/water project currently under construction, making Corcoran the last city in Hennepin County to take this step.

City administrator Dan Donahue noted that sewer/water pipe construction is done for the remaining year. Sometime next spring the city will connect the pipe to Met Council sewer and Maple Grove water.

The pipe currently extends to County Rd. 116 by St. Thomas church.

As the pipe carries with it expectations for development, both from property owners and prospective developers, the city is now in a position to prepare itself for its first ever municipal-utility-served-development.

Donahue said it is thus a good time for planning.

“This got us thinking about community development steps we should be taking,” Donahue wrote in his memo to the council. “I think it’s worth thinking about starting now and carrying on into next year with the seating of a new city council.”

Donahue suggested to conduct a joint meeting with the council, planning commission, parks and trails commission, and residents “to develop a multi-year plan.”

That plan could include hiring a development professional.

“We are on the cusp of some significant development …” Donahue said. “I think it’s worth getting ahead before any significant proposal starts coming in.”

The city’s Comprehensive Plan officially documents things like zoning standards and areas for development. But Donahue said a vision plan could look at more specific details, such as design guidelines.

“If we get a big proposal for residential in the southeast (city) corner, do we leave it up to a developer to decide or do we want some kind of plan for what we want to see happen?” Donahue said. “That would be a great city goal for next year: bring in community development specialists and have a workshop.”

This was for discussion purposes only, and the council suggested taking the steps to initiate a community development discussion.



In other news, the council reviewed contracts for architectural and construction management for the new public works facility.

The city is near closing its purchase of Roelhke family property at the southwest corner of County Rds. 19 and 10, which would be used for the new facility.

The city passed the 30-day window for anyone to take exception or submit a petition for reconsideration of a public works facility bond issue, meaning the city can proceed with the bond and purchase of the property.

The council approved the architect (Oertel) contract and construction manager (Ebert Construction) contract.

Now some minor site preparation could take place, such as staking out the property lines, and minor excavation. But the bulk of the project is anticipated to begin in spring, with completion in fall.

“Everything is on schedule,” administrator Donahue said. The bond sale is proposed for Nov. 8.



In further matters, the council discussed the budget related to employee wage and benefit package.

Staff is asking the council to approve the wage and benefit package prior to final budget approval in December.

The latest budget draft includes a 2 percent cost-of-living-adjustment and the city covering an 8.5 percent insurance premium increase.

The council wanted more study and data pertaining to all employees, whether they select single insurance coverage or family, and also looking at what other cities are doing, and to bring this information back to the Nov. 8 council meting.

The latest budget revision with corrected numbers will also be reviewed Nov. 8.