Assess for street lights in Champlin? Council reviews policy standards

by megan hopps

SUN PRESS Newspapers


The Champlin City Council met Monday, Oct. 28 at city hall.

City Administrator Bret Heitkamp gave a special presentation regarding the city’s street light policy. In his overview, he stated that the amendments to the street light policy include what types of light should be used and what design standards the street lights would be required to meet. Council and staff discussed whether or not residents will be assessed for the street lights and if so, at what rate.

The council next discussed the White Oaks Trail rear yard drainage improvements.

The project included the installment of a 6-inch drain tile along rear yards of White Oaks Trail. Eight services were extended to property owners, five to the south end of the development and three to the north. The total cost of the project exceeded $10,000, which will be the amount that is assessed. The total assessment per unit is $1,429 which will be charged per property except for the half-units on the east and west sides of the development.

One owner, Stephanie Dwinal, voiced her concerns at the Monday night meeting as she is listed to be charged a fee for work that she mostly did on her own. In her comments she stated that she received a letter from city staff stating that some of these costs could be lowered if these property owners spent their own time and money taking care of the drainage issue. Dwinal said she and her husband did just that and are still being assessed at the same rate, and she has requested that those assessments be waived.

In other news, Mayor ArMand Nelson announced that city hall will be closed Nov. 11 for the Veteran’s Day holiday. Because this holiday falls on a Monday, the council rescheduled the next work session and regular council meeting for Tuesday, Nov. 12. There will be a work session beginning at 6:15 p.m. in the council chambers and the city council meeting will follow at its regularly scheduled time at 7 p.m. Council and staff will hold another work session following the meeting.

During public hearings, the council was presented with a list of properties that, throughout the year, did not follow the city’s policy regarding the height of weeds and grass on residential and business properties. The city requires that all grass and weeds growing on these properties need to be maintained and cut 8 inches or lower. If any residents or business owners do not follow this ordinance the city will intervene and add the cost for labor to the property tax of the home or business. Adding to that, Deputy City Administrator, John Cox stated that the removal of diseased trees will also be added to residential and business property tax if they are not removed by the owner. However, he added that the list of properties that includes is not as long as the weed and grass maintenance issue.

Next, a resolution was adopted to assess the delinquent water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer and refuse fees. The council also adopted assessments for unpaid rental inspection fees and vacant building registration charges.

The council approved the items on the consent agenda including an appointment to the vacant Police Sergeant position, adopting amendments to the zoning ordinance regarding street side yard setbacks and the purchasing of a tractor with flail mower attachment.

No residents spoke in open forum.