Dayton park commissioner urges support for city engineer

by Sean Cote

Staff Intern

The Dayton City Council met Tuesday, July 23, to finish the Territorial Road/Rush Creek Road public hearing, discuss water management planning, and hear a proposal for two city variances.

James Jadwin spoke in open forum, giving his perspective on the Goose Lake Road project, and he expressed his dismay at why no bridge was built when it was agreed upon in the original project, yet nothing has been done in 10 years. Mark Hanson said that Hennepin County is working on those plans that Jadwin stated was “for the safety of the children” using that route to get to school.

Doug Baines voiced his support of Mark Hanson, city engineer, over previous criticism about his service to the city and handling of the Territorial Road/Rush Creek Road developments. He often sees “hostile environments” due to internal staff conflicts and staff cuts and said, “This environment, I believe, is not a healthy environment,” referencing the lack of support for Hanson. “You’re asking for excellence that is not possible to reach,” he said, adding that he wished “we could support Mark through retirement.”

Baines also presented watershed management plan options as the chair of the Dayton Park Commission and chair of the Elm Creek Watershed. He encouraged creation of a plan for the next 10 years, with the third generation plan progressing towards approval in 2014. Analysis revealed E. coli contamination in Rush Creek and Diamond Creek and high phosphorous levels in the Dayton watershed.

“Communication with our citizens is absolutely imperative,” he said, stressing successful education specifically. He also encouraged the council to establish a surface water management plan, but Mayor Tim McNeil said there are no current water surface projects in the capital improvement plan.

Concerning the Territorial Road/Rush Creek Road extension public hearing continuance, the council clarified the issue of assessment payment. Property owners assessed for the amount of $23,000 must either pay the $23,000 assessment as it stands, or be assessed for $5,000 now and pay a possibly more expensive hookup fee later. Dan Koehler asked what assessment amount the 200 houses in the development will have to pay each for water/sewage connections. The members of the council could not provide that information, and McNeil described the assessments for the current properties and the 200 new properties like “apples to oranges,” further stressing that there did not exist any specific dollar amount for what a property within that 200 house number would pay as an assessment for water/sewage hookup.

Matthew Gindele, Associate Planner, presented two variances to the council without the use of a working projector. One variance, a suggestion by the DNR, was a 25-foot buffer of vegetation on Diamond Lake, and the second was a proposal for a conditional use permit, but the council discussed conditional vs. interim use permits.

Concluding the meeting, updates for new warning siren and discussion about a new city phone system were mentioned for future meetings. The siren will be located at the high point of Zanzibar and 144th, covering about 6250 feet.