The Osseo City Council looked at creating a water usage bill reimbursement plan at it Monday, Feb. 10 meeting.
This plan would help keep homeowner’s and business water bills from extra charges if water was left running to prevent frozen pipes during the cold weather.
The council also authorized an eviction action on Central Auto Repair and honored Susan Hanson for her time on the Osseo Planning Commission.
Here are some of the meeting’s highlights.
City Planner Riley Grams said the city has seen a sharp increase in the number of frozen water lines in the city due to the recent cold temperatures.
“Freeze ups are mostly located nearest to the watermain in the public street and these are the city’s responsibility to repair,” he said. “Public Services director Randy Korfiatis has reported to me that repairing and thawing out these pipes can cost the city anywhere between $500 and $700 for each situation.”
Grams said a way to prevent frozen pipes would be to have residential and business owners turn on a faucet inside and let the water flow out in a small, yet steady stream (about a pencil width). This will keep the water moving inside the pipes and reduce the chance of freezing.
“This does raise the amount of water usage at each property and raises the water bills,” he added. “So tonight city staff is recommending to the council that we look at reimbursing residential and commercial property owners for any increased water usage amounts.”
This would be done by looking at previous water usage by the owner during the same time period, from Feb. 10 to March 31. Any amount over the previous year’s usage would be reimbursed on the city water bill.
Councilor Rick Weber hoped people would do this because “it’s miserable to go without water.”
The council voted 3 – 0 to approve the water bill reimbursement period from Feb. 10 to March 31 at the current water utility rate. Councilors Mark Schulz and Allan Hartkopf were absent from the meeting.
Central Auto Repair
City Attorney Loren Magsam said the Osseo Economic Development Authority purchased the property at 521 Central Avenue in 2012 and leased it to Darren Bertling of Central Auto Repair.
On Oct. 11, 2013, Bertling was given a 90-day notice to vacate the property in accordance with the lease. He was given an extension to move out by Jan. 24. Magsam said the tenant turned over the keys to City Hall Feb. 10.
In order to have the property vacant and be able transfer it to the developer of the Five Central project as planned, it is necessary to have Bertling vacate the property.
“It appears the tenant is actually be out of the property in time for the EDA to proceed with the closing and development of the Five Central project,” Magsam said. “However, since we don’t have absolute confirmation of the full move out yet, and nobody from the city has been in the building today to verify it, I would still recommend that the council authorize the city attorney to commence an eviction action if necessary to make sure that EDA obtains possession of that property.”
“So people understand, we are not trying to run small businesses out of town,” Mayor Duane Poppe said. “This is just needed in case we have to do something.”
Magsam added, “The tenant has obtained a replacement property to operate his business.”
The council authorized the city attorney to commence and pursue an eviction action in Hennepin County District Court for the removal of the tenant, doing business as Central Auto Repair, from the property at 521 Central Avenue.
The council also honored Susuan Hanson for her 10 years of service on the Osseo Planning Commission. She spent nine of those years as the chair of the Planning Commission.
Mayor Poppe read a plaque: “Presented to Susan Hanson in appreciation of 10 years of dedicated service on the Osseo Planning Commission.”
Poppe thanked Hanson for her service.
In other action, the council:
APPROVED 2 – 1 the purchase of Administration/Council computer upgrades. Five new tower computers and six new laptop computers will be purchased for a cost of $15,375. The Capital Improvement Plan set aside $9,000 for new computers. The remaining $6,375 will come from the Cable Fund or another budget line item. Councilor Bonnie Heinen voted against.
APPOINTED Michael Corbett to fill the unexpired term on the Osseo Planning Commission.
APPROVED the second reading and adoption of the ordinance amendment of city code for the C-2 Commercial Highway District amendment, creating a C-2 North and C-2 South zone, and adding a conditional use (warehouse and shipping of warehouse goods) to the C-2 South zone.