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City council updates code enforcement policy

At its first meeting in May, the Albertville City Council approved an updated code enforcement policy.

The council also voted 4-1 to approve a lease agreement for STMA United Soccer to lease the former city hall facility.

An article about the May 20 meeting will be in next week’s paper.

 

CODE ENFORCEMENT

City planner Al Brixius updated the council about two options for code enforcement. One would be to include a condition that the complainant must reside within 400 feet of the property on which the complaint is being filed, and the other does not.

Brixius outlined the process and timelines in the code enforcement policy, and said complainants must identify themselves, which allows staff to follow up with the complainants and is not public information.

Mayor Jillian Hendrickson said she was cautious to limit the distance to 400 feet. Councilor Larry Sorensen said any Albertville resident should be able to complain, not just ones within 400 feet of the code violating property. Sorensen also did not like complainants having to identify themselves.

Councilor John Vetsch felt staff should investigate any complaint made by a resident.

Brixius said staff investigates as time allows. City attorney Mike Couri said adding full-time compliance with code enforcement violations would mean raising taxes to cover the cost.

The council then voted unanimously to establish the code enforcement policy without the 400-foot limit.

 

SOCCER LEASE

In other news, the council reviewed a draft lease agreement between the city and STMA United Soccer group.

The soccer group wants to lease the former city hall/fire hall located on Main Avenue north of the post office. City attorney Couri said there are $75,000 to $100,000 of repairs that are needed in the building. Upfront costs would be $55,000 to the city and $25,000 to the club, with any additional costs being split in the same proportion.

The club would pay monthly rent until the city recoups its costs, then the club would stop paying rent until it recoups its upfront costs. Then once both parties recoup their costs for the repairs, the club will begin paying rent again.

The city would be responsible for building insurance and property taxes, with the club paying all utilities except water and sewer. Councilor Vetsch questioned if the club would pay sewer and water, and city administrator Adam Nafstad said there is no water meter at the building since the city owns it. Vetsch felt the building should be metered while it is being repaired.

Couri said both parties have the right to opt out of the lease agreement if the repairs exceed certain amounts.

Club representative Roger Derham said there would be about 1,200 youth in the club, and this building would serve 300 to 400 youth per week for practice and in the winter months

Nafstad said the club put in a significant amount of money for the building architect, but he sees the city taking over the bidding process for the repairs. He added that once the lease is executed, they will move the float to the public works building, but will need to find another permanent home for the float.

Mayor Hendrickson said it seems reasonable to lease the building if the city is eventually receiving money for it. The council ended up voting 4-1 to approve the lease; Vetsch said he is opposed because he feels a water meter should be installed in the building.

 

STREETS/TRAILS

In further matters, the council reviewed plans for the 2013 street, trail and utility improvement project.

Administrator Nafstad said the four components include street reclamation and pavement, Cedar Creek water main extension, Four Seasons Park trail repairs and overlay, and County Rd. 18 trail connection.

Nafstad said the projects would take place July through August. Councilor Sorensen said he would like to see staff obtain a bid for the parking lot at Four Seasons Park; Nafstad said he could get a quote.

Nafstad also said staff will need to obtain property easements from the properties along the County Rd. 18 trail. The project costs are $440,000.

The council unanimously approved the project plans and specifications.

In other action, the council:

AUTHORIZED the city engineering firm to prepare a wastewater treatment facility plan to address reduced phosphorous limits, at a fee not to exceed $28,900.

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