By Megan Hopps
Sun Press Newspapers
The Champlin City Council reviewed the street light policy ahead of implementing a utility fee.
The council also heard a presentation regarding Elm Creek Park Reserve, and discussed potential changes to service, license and permit fees.
Street Light Policy
City Administrator Bret Heitkamp gave an overview of the council work session Monday regarding amendments to the street light and street assessment policies.
He explained that one of the priorities the council set at the beginning of the year was to lay out a work plan to establish a long range infrastructure funding program for the light system. Through cooperation between the council and residents that were involved in the street light assessment policies, it is estimated that the assessment will be half of what it was proposed to be at one time. One of the first things the council will be looking at in the first part of 2014 involves the implementation of a street light utility fee.
“That will be approximately $3 per month and set aside for covering the city’s portion of the infrastructure associated with the street light project,” Heitkamp said.
Elm Creek Park Reserve
In other news, Three Rivers Park District Commissioner Jennifer DeJournett gave a brief presentation on the current projects of the parks and trail systems.
DeJournett explained that one of the priorities of the district is to keep 80 percent of the parks in its natural state and develop 20 percent of those areas.
“One of our goals as a park district is that we are always working to connect people with nature,” she said.
She went on to explain that Elm Creek Park is the largest of Three Rivers parks encompassing 5,200 acres. The park has undergone many changes in recent years including the remodeling of the Elm Creek play area in 2011 and the remodeling of the Eastman Nature Center which recently re-opened its newly constructed building boasting large classrooms, a large viewing area, an open air deck, coffee and an after-hours restroom. There are also plans to improve the off-leash dog area which will include accessibility improvements, a well for drinking, an expanded parking area and separate areas for small and large dogs.
Lastly, DeJournett said that due to overcrowding on Elm Creek’s ski trails, Three Rivers is creating a 5K cross-country area ski trail with man made snow in Bloomington to hopefully relieve some of the traffic on Elm Creek’s trails.
“This will make it a more enjoyable experience for teams and recreational trail-users,” explained DeJournett. “Elm Creek is truly a jewel in this community.”
The council also participated in a discussion led by City Clerk Roberta Colotti regarding changes to service, licence and permit fees.
Resident Jen Meier and Paul Croning, representing Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts, addressed their concerns with the changing fees. As non-profit organizations, these groups perform various services throughout the city and often times need to rent rooms for events and meetings.
“This would be a detriment to our scouts if fees increase,” Croning said.
The council suggested that the city could assess how much a service would cost and remove that portion of the total fee for the charge of the rooms. The council requested further discussion on this topic as they do not want to see groups that contribute so much to the city be over charged.
In other action, the council:
MAYOR ArMand Nelson announced: The next council work session will be Monday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m.; an Economic Development Authority meeting will follow at 6:15 p.m.; and the regularly scheduled meeting will follow at 7 p.m. in the council chambers Dec. 9.
HEARD from Metropolitan Council District 2 Rep. Lona Shreiber. She gave a presentation before the council to introduce herself, give an overview of her responsibilities and provide the community with a better understanding of the services the Metropolitan Council provides.
Contact Megan Hopps at [email protected]