Osseo targets financial stability as top goal

By Aaron Brom
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS

The Osseo City Council has set financial stability, economic development and low tax rates as the top primary 2017-18 city goals.
The council also approved the plans and specifications and authorizing the advertisement for bids for the 2017 Street Reconstruction Project, and took action on other issues at the Monday, Feb. 13, meeting.

The 2017 Osseo street reconstruction project consists of reconstructing portions of 3rd Street SE, 4th Avenue SE, 5th Avenue SE and 6th Avenue SE including repairing or minimal reconstruction of the storm and sanitary sewer, and replacement of curb and gutter as needed.
The 2017 Osseo street reconstruction project consists of reconstructing portions of 3rd Street SE, 4th Avenue SE, 5th Avenue SE and 6th Avenue SE including repairing or minimal reconstruction of the storm and sanitary sewer, and replacement of curb and gutter as needed.

GOALS
City administrator Riley Grams updated the council regarding goals/priorities for 2017-18.
“Each year the city develops a list of goals and priorities that helps shape policies and decision making,” Grams said in his memo. “These goals are broad, however, they are meant to provide specific direction to council members and staff which will help the city provide the very best in public services.”
He said  This list is generated from staff/council strategic planning sessions and is reviewed annually to update, remove or add new goals and priorities.
“After a discussion, direction was given to staff to finalize the list and bring it back to a future council meeting for approval,” Grams said.
Mayor Duane Poppe and the council accepted staff’s recommendations to approve the 2017-18 goals list.
The list is broken down into Primary Priorities, Secondary Priorities and Ongoing Priorities.

Primary priorities —
1. Ensure City’s continued financial stability (responsible budgeting policies and planning).
2. Foster and promote economic development in the City (attract new businesses, retain existing businesses and help expansion opportunities).
3. Maintain as low a tax rate as possible (be cost conscious).
4. Improve the City’s aging and deteriorating infrastructure (upgrade City streets and utilities and enact proper maintenance procedures).
5. Continue to give Staff the necessary tools to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

Secondary priorities —
6. Update City policies (focus on updating and clarifying policies).
7. Increase inter-governmental cooperation and the sharing of City services (be open to sharing services and costs with neighboring communities).
8. Update the City Code (be flexible with City Code amendments and updates).
9. Plan and build an upgraded and expanded Boerboom Park.
10. Develop and implement the Comprehensive Plan Update (allow the plan to dictate city decisions and policies).

Ongoing priorities —
11. Develop team work among the city’s leadership team (city council and staff members).
12. Increase communication with citizens and encourage citizen engagement (be an available and transparent city government).
13. Annually update the Capital Improvement Plan and Financial Management Plan.
14. Promote a healthy and high quality standard of living (provide an efficient and responsible delivery of services).
15. Stay current with new technologies in all areas of city services.
16. Plan and provide for safe and quality housing options.
17. Adapt to changing demographics of the community.
18. Provide a variety of activities for all citizens with continued and new city events and programs (offer a variety of events and programs to increase quality of living).
19. Recruit high quality staff, continue to train staff, and work to promote staff retention (keep and promote high quality staff members).

STREET RECONSTRUCTION
In other news, the council adopted a resolution approving the plans and specifications and authorizing the advertisement for bids for the 2017 Street Reconstruction Project.
Prior to approval, city engineer Lee Gustafson updated the council about the project and preliminary assessment roll.
He said the 2017 street reconstruction project consists of reconstructing portions of 3rd Street SE, 4th Avenue SE, 5th Avenue SE and 6th Avenue SE including repairing or minimal reconstruction of the storm and sanitary sewer, and replacement of curb and gutter as needed.
“The existing roadway width will be maintained to the greatest extent possible, and minimal impacts will be made outside of the curb with the exception for impacts related to utility work, curb replacement and sidewalk installation,” Gustafson said in his report.
As part of the city’s initiative to increase walkability, he said sidewalk installation is being proposed for this project.
“In determining the benefit of adding sidewalk with this project, each street was evaluated for potential impacts, connectivity to existing walk, and overall benefit to adjacent properties,” he said. “Based on this evaluation, new sidewalk is proposed on several streets”
The council also heard that the median on the south end of 6th Avenue SE that prevents northbound traffic from using this roadway is proposed to be removed. Gustafson said this recommendation is based on the need to reduce cut-thru traffic in the adjacent commercial parking lot and to improve access for city maintenance equipment including plows and street sweepers.
This project will also require full right of way acquisition on 5th Avenue SE between Broadway Street East and 2nd Street SE.
A neighborhood open house for the proposed improvements was conducted Nov. 10, for affected property owners. Gustafson said several meetings and discussions have recently occurred with individual property owners regarding project impacts.
The total project cost is estimated at $999,000, and includes all proposed street, utility, sidewalk, and storm sewer improvements as well as all engineering, legal, financing, and administrative costs.
The estimated cost is based on projected construction costs for 2017 and includes a 10 percent contingency and 25 percent indirect costs.
Financing the 2017 Street Reconstruction Project will be based on the city’s special assessment policy which calls for 50% of the proposed improvements to be specially assessed including all administrative costs. The remaining 50 percent and 100 percent of the storm and utility costs will be financed by the City through street and enterprise funds.
The proposed assessment roll is attached, along with an assessment map highlighting the benefiting properties.
In other action, the council:
ACCEPTED a letter of resignation from part-time police officer Ronald Nagy, who wishes to spend more time with family.
APPROVED plans and specifications and authorized advertisement of bids for the 2017 Alley Project and 2017 Sidewalk Project.
HEARD that Osseo is soliciting interested persons to serve on local boards and commissions. These positions are available:
Heritage Preservation Commission (two positions for one year terms); and Public Safety Advisory Committee (two year term/one business appointee). Citizens interested in filling these appointments are requested to submit a letter of application or statement of interest, containing name, address, telephone number, and any other pertinent background information. Send letter of interest to Mayor Duane Poppe, 415 Central Avenue, Osseo, MN 55369. For more information, call 763-425-2624.

Contact Aaron Brom at [email protected]