Future Rockford industrial park discussion includes intersection improvement

The Rockford City Council, at its Oct. 8 meeting, run by Councilor and Deputy Mayor Jeannette Graner in Mayor Renee Hafften’s absence, discussed several items including the future realignment of an intersection, the approval of a kennel license and the continued cleanup of a commercial site on Highway 55.

The city of Rockford is preparing to develop a new industrial park on the west side of the city, and the intersection needed to access the proposed site is under scrutiny. The intersection of Highway 55 and County Road 32 offers an acute angle access to the highway – County 32 comes up on 55 from the southwest like an exit ramp with a stop sign – and does not provide drivers with the same line of sight for oncoming traffic a more traditional, 90 percent T-type intersection offers. Exiting 55 to 32 from the west requires a severe right turn.

This intersection has been the subject of past council discussions, and staff recently met with representatives of MnDOT and the Wright County Commission, as well as Wright County staff. City Administrator Nancy Carswell relayed that this was the city’s first step in working with the county in regard to the realignment improvement. Because a state highway and a county road are involved in the project, the city needs approval – and will be seeking financial support – from both entities. Carswell suggested that the council send a letter to Wright County outlining the need for the improvement. The council approved this measure 4-0.

DOG KENNEL LICENSE

After some discussion, the council approved, 4-0, an interim use hobby dog kennel license for a property on the 6000 block of Red Oak Drive.

The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission previously reviewed an application for a license for maintaining six dogs on a residential property and agreed to approval for four dogs. Several conditions were discussed, including fencing and adequate restraints for the animals while outside (no more than two at a time), dog and kennel licensing remain current, and the possibility of revocation due to complaints. The license will expire on Sept. 30, 2014.

SITE CLEANUP

Carswell, responding to discussion from a previous meeting, told the council that the demolished business site on Highway 55 (the old “Lunds/Byerly’s site) was still in need of cleanup and that staff had sent a certified letter to the property owner stating this. The deadline for removal was Oct. 12.

Councilor Rick Martinson stated that he’d visited the site recently while workers were there and was told the compact debris was making removal a more difficult job than anticipated, but that cleanup was in progress.

In other news, Carswell said that information regarding a building permit discount had been distributed to developers, real estate agents and area landowners. With certain provisions, homes with an estimated value of $300,000, or more, could qualify for a $1,000 discount on the permit. Up to 10 discounts can be issued until the end of the year.

And, a new Park Commission was sworn in, and the members will review the budget and capital improvement plan for city parks. The new members are looking into the cost of installing a sign to direct traffic to the new Jim Thome Park.

The next regular meeting of the Rockford City Council is Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Rockford City Council, 6031 Main St.

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