Maple Grove adopts assessment resolutions

BY SUE WEBBER

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

 

The Maple Grove City Council Oct. 21 approved three resolutions to adopt assessments.

The first resolution was for $7.487 million in special assessments against benefitted properties from public improvements within residential and commercial developments.

Eight projects will have assessment levies, as follows: Cedarcrest of Maple Grove, Maple Brook, Donegal Phase 1, Deerwood Lane Extensions, 9367 Revere Lane, Ave Maria Academy, and Eberle Addition. Residential watermain repairs projects also were included in the list of assessment levies.

The second resolution enables the city to collect $8,900 in delinquent weed and tree-cutting bills. That amount represents a 60 percent decrease from previous year and is the lowest dollar amount for weed and tree delinquencies since 2004, according to Finance Director Jim Knutson.

The third resolution covers a total of $313,829 in special assessments for 2013 delinquent utilities on 829 accounts. The city originally mailed 1,129 notices on Sept. 26, according to Knutson, so there have been a large number of payments already, he said.

The number of delinquent utility accounts is down 15 percent this year compared to previous years, Knutson said.

All three were public hearings, but no one spoke at any of the hearings.

The council also heard a presentation from Elizabeth Johnson, executive director of CROSS (Christians Reaching Out in Social Service), a non-profit organization serving Champlin (west), Corcoran, Dayton, Maple Grove, Osseo and Rogers.

The 35-year-old agency serves 600 families (2,000 individuals) a month, according to Johnson. Fifty-one percent of those receiving assistance live in Maple Grove, she said.

The agency’s food shelf, run by volunteers, distributes 470,000 pounds of food a year, or about 45,000 pounds a month. In August, 24,000 pounds of produce were distributed to the agency’s clients.

A total of 815 children received school supplies through CROSS, Johnson said.

“2013 was a pretty busy year; the numbers [of clients] and their needs are increasing,” Johnson said. “Food and stable housing is the foundation of what people need.”

In addition to distributing food and clothing, CROSS helps with housing assistance, car care, weekend food packs for children at two Maple Grove schools, hygiene and food packs at Maple Grove High School, assistance at a mobile home park in Corcoran, and outreach through local farmers markets, as well as birthday and holiday gifts for clients.

The agency has been working with homeless suburban families in downtown Minneapolis and has found housing for 14 families since June, Johnson said.

“It’s difficult to track homeless kids in the suburbs because they sometimes live with friends or in their cars,” Johnson said. “But it’s definitely increasing.”

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