Council discusses request
The St. Michael City Council heard that the St. Michael Legion proposes building a new memorial in downtown.
The council also denied a house permit, citing a zoning non conformity, and approved required changes to three Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts after a state auditor review.
Community development director Marc Weigle summarized discussion from the recent Economic Development Authority meeting.
He said the American Legion is proposing to create a veteran’s memorial park on the corner where the two one-way streets intersect in downtown. Mayor Jerry Zachman and councilors Kevin Kasel, Joe Marx and Nadine Schoen (Chris Schumm was on vacation) said that area of downtown would not be good for pedestrian traffic, with two busy streets surrounding it. But if the park would be more of a memorial that could be seen by passersby, then the council said that plan might work.
Weigle said he would keep working with the Legion to better define its goals and evaluate potential sites.
In other news, community development director Weigle said that in 2003 a permit was issued to remodel a house at 14239 42nd St. NE near Drywall Supply.
He said the city issued a stop work order on the permit after determining the owners were expanding an existing non-conforming use. The owners sued the city and won a lawsuit where the court said the owners had three years to complete the work on the house before the permit would expire.
The permit was never completed and expired in 2009. Weigle said the current owner is now asking whether the city would allow a house to be built on that property. The council’s consensus was to abide by the court’s decision.
This means that a single-family home could not be built since the property is zoned industrial and surrounded by industrial properties, and furthermore does not have access except for an easement over other adjacent industrial property.
In further matters, community development director Weigle updated the council about several TIF districts that the state auditor’s office had been reviewing.
Regarding the TIF district for the Jet Edge company, he said there is language in the state statute that prohibits a loan or advance of funds larger than the largest negative cash balance. The city did not charge for interfund loans within the TIF funds and is thus now required to repay the money that was used for the interfund loans, minus the largest negative balance in the fund.
The total amount of repayment is $178,555, which will be paid to Wright County and dispersed like typical property taxes, with the city receiving 20-25 percent of the money back.
Weigle said the other two TIF districts reviewed by the auditor’s office are for the St. Michael Industrial Park, that the city needed to reimburse itself for combining Industrial Park improvements with street projects.
The council approved the changes to the TIF districts.
In other news, the council:
REACHED consensus not to consider a lease buyout for the cell phone tower on County Rd. 19. Staff said a buyout would give the company another 18 years on the lease and the city would get nothing.