New Corcoran council considers 2013 goals, projects

Three Corcoran City Councilors were sworn into new terms. They include, left to right, Ron Thomas (back for second stint on the council), new city councilor Diane Lynch, and longtime Mayor Ken Guenthner.
Three Corcoran City Councilors were sworn into new terms. They include, left to right, Ron Thomas (back for second stint on the council), new city councilor Diane Lynch, and longtime Mayor Ken Guenthner.

Ron Thomas is back for a new term, and newcomer Diane Lynch was also sworn in at the Corcoran City Council meeting.

The council took a look at the 2013 projects and goals.



City administrator Dan Donahue reviewed the 2013 goals with Mayor Ken Guenthner and councilors Rich Asleson, Tom Cossette, Lynch and Thomas.

Donahue said the sewer and water project “has been completed successfully and on budget.” He said the next steps are to initiate discussion  of water system expansion through a secondary Maple Grove connection for the proposed Lennar residential development south of County Rd. 101. He also said the Met Council would be moving forward with construction on a permanent sewer lift station, and that there would be discussion of potentially extending sewer to the city park area to serve downtown, public land, and future developable area with a lift station.

For streets, Donahue said the Trail Haven Road project remains under discussion, and the initial step would be compiling results of a neighborhood survey and discussion with the council about steps involved for receiving Municipal State Aid.

Donahue identified the following policies and plans that need to be updated due to expansion of utilities and paving streets through the Municipal State Aid program: pavement capital improvement plan, sewer and water assessment policy, revise the 2005 concept utility report for public infrastructure, and update the joint Corcoran/Maple Grove maintenance agreement.

Next on the project list was new development. Donahue said staff would continue to work with Lennar Development to evaluate a potential residential project in southeast Corcoran. Lennar has requested the city engineer complete a feasibility report, including evaluation of trunk infrastructure to serve the area. Donahue said Lennar has identified a preliminary goal of initial development in 2014.

Lastly on the projects list, Donahue said, is ground water quality. “The question of the quality of well water in the 1,200 private users is of interest as a municipal public health issue,” Donahue said.



Administrator Donahue also put together a list of ongoing activities and goals. Some listed projects include finishing phase one of the sewer and water project (fully operational in fall), determine if there would be a downtown sewer and water project, determine if the sewer and water would be extended to the city park, implement construction and complete the public works facility (late fall), determine road improvement needs, start construction of the Rockford Schools property ball field improvements, and start development of the Maple Hill Community Center.

Policy and ordinance goals include seeking legislation to extend the disbursement of all remaining tax increment financing funds from nine months to two years, complete assessment policies, and code updates (such as design standards, development rights map and home occupation ordinance).

Service areas for review include public safety plans to merge the Loretto and Hamel fire departments, and service expectations (assessments, billing etc.) of implementing sewer and water utilities.

Other service areas include community development (planning parks), financial stability (five-year finance plan, general fund surplus), coming issues and policy decisions (such as city’s leadership and management). “Corcoran is on the cusp of a lot of changes (internally and externally) over the next few years,” Donahue said. “Does our current governance and organizational model work in the future?”

Lastly, Donahue listed staffing services. “With the possibility of substantial development activities starting in 2013, additional staffing/skill needs should be assessed.”

In other action, the council:

APPROVED yearly appointments. Crow River News was appointed official newspaper. Councilor Cossette was appointed acting mayor.

HEARD that a public works building design meeting was recently conducted. A formal report will be discussed at the Jan. 24 meeting.