Osseo focuses in on new police building decision

Council talks nuisance parking ordinance

The Osseo City Council made a decision to focus on one option for a new Police Department building during its meeting Monday, Aug. 12.

The council also considered new wording on the nuisance parking ordinance amendment as well as the assessment hearing for the alley improvements.

Here are some of the meeting’s highlights.

 

POLICE BUILDING ALTERNATIVES

The council heard about three options for replacing the current police building. The current police is a house built in 1930 and was purchased by the city in 1996 for $90,000 as a temporary location.

City Administrator Doug Reeder said the City Council asked the Public Safety Advisory Committee to look at various options for replacing the building. In June there were three options that were acceptable to the committee and the City Council.

The first option would be to build a new police station on the City Hall parking lot. The building would be 6,600 square feet with a garage for four cars. The estimated cost for the building would be $1.5 million, which would be paid for by issuing bonds or using cash on hand. After the new building’s construction, the existing police building would be demolished, and that space would be used for parking.

The second option would be to place the police station on the first floor of the second phase of the Five Central apartment building. The city would pay rent of $50,000 annually for 20 years. The lease space would be 6,300 square feet. Currently there is no time line on when or if the second phase would be built.

The third option would include purchasing the existing building at 25 Fourth Street N.W. and have it remodeled. The building was built in 1976 and remodeled in 2009 and is currently used by an engineering company for office space. There is 3,400 square feet in the building. In 2009 the city appraised the building at $375,000. The owner also had an appraisal done, which was $467,000. Recent discussions with the property owner have the staff possibly purchasing the building for $425,000 to $450,000. To convert the building to include a four-stall garage would cost another $200,000. This option would be paid for by existing cash or bonded.

Councilor Rick Weber said because of the second option not being a for sure thing, it shouldn’t really be an option to consider. “It is too much of an unknown,” he added. “I’m going to look at the cheapest of the two. In venturing my opinion, I’m going to be leaning more towards the engineering building.”

Mayor Duane Poppe wondered about the second option and what the police department felt about it. Officer Mikkelson said in 2009 he and the chief at the time went into the building to look at it. “We found it very suitable for our needs at that time,” he said. “The space is very designed. There would be very little we would have to do to the building to make it ready for our use.”

The council voted unanimously to focus on the third option to use the engineering building for a new police station usage. The next steps would be for the city to meet the building’s owner and figure out an acceptable price and details and bring the information back to the council.

 

NUISANCE PARKING ORDINANCE

Also during the meeting, continued talks about amending the nuisance parking ordinance. A draft of the propose changes was brought to the council on July 22, but the council wanted more direction on what constituted as a “vehicle” in the code.

City Attorney Loren Magsam said he added the wording “for purposes of this section, ‘vehicle’ means any motorized vehicle, truck, passenger vehicle, motorcycle, motorized bicycle, motorized cart, golf cart, boat, watercraft, snowmobile, recreational vehicle, trailer or any similar device with wheels or tracks capable of transporting an operator or passenger.

Magsam said he found the wording from Minnesota statutes, but said the city didn’t need to keep this exact definition.

Resident Harold Johnson asked if there was a snowmobile on a trailer, would that be one or two vehicles. Attorney Magsam said following the wording for a “vehicle,” it would be two vehicles.

Anyone not following the ordinance could have a misdemeanor fine.

Mayor Poppe suggested if a snowmobile was on a trailer, it could be labeled as one vehicle.

Magsam said next time the council would have before them a change in what the definition of “vehicle” meant. The council agreed that would be fine.

 

2013 ALLEY IMPROVEMENTS

The council also adopted the assessment for the 2013 alley improvements. The 33 affected properties will be assessed $3,509.52.

The improvement project will be reconstructing the alley in concrete between Third Avenue N.E. and Fourth Avenue N.E. from Fourth Street N.E. to Seventh Street N.E. Construction is expected to be completed by Oct. 1.

The council then awarded the bid for the 2013 alley improvements to New Look Contracting, Inc. for $115,267.

 

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