Albertville to forward request for STMA busing for open enrolled students north of I-94

The Albertville City Council heard from two parents in the Elk River School portion of the city north of I-94 and agreed to help them seek an St. Michael-Albertville School busing request.

The council also heard of prospective business owner of the former Heidi’s site at Interstate 94 and County Rd. 37, approved the 2016 year end building permit review, and heard the 2016 Wright County Sheriff’s Office report.

BUSING

Tim Reiswig of Towne Lakes and Mariah Hunter of Hunter’s Pass — both located in the Albertville portion of the Elk River School District — approached the city council for support of a student busing option.

Many students in those areas are currently open enrolled into STMA but do not have a busing option.

They asked if Albertville would support asking STMA to consider busing options for northern Albertville, and said parents are willing to pay for a busing option.

After discussion among the council, members Aaron Cocking, Walter Hudson, Rob Olson, John Vetsch unanimously supported a motion to ask STMA to consider busing options for Towne Lakes and Hunters Pass.

OLD HEIDI’S LOCATION

In other news, the council heard of interest in purchasing the old Heidi’s store location at the northwest intersection of Interstate 94 and County Rd. 37.

The council heard that the prospective owner wishes to keep the site as a convenience store and liquor store. The prospective owner asked about interest in the city’s revolving loan fund. Such use of the fund must be city council approved, but before assisting with the loan, the city would need the developer to secure private financing. Such a loan would be used for on site improvements, versus say helping fund purchase of the site.

The discussion was very preliminary, and no formal action was taken. The next step would be to receive a formal application for redevelopment of the site.

BUILDING REPORT

In further matters, the council reviewed the 2016 year-end building department report.

Building official Paul Heins reported that a total of 477 building permits were issued in 2016. The total valuation of the work is approximately $12,714,214 and associated fees paid are approximately $310,614 (includes utility access fees).

In 2016, there were 17 new single family permits, one new construction commercial permit, and 25 commercial addition/remodel permits.

Last year’s permits 542 with a valuation of $14.78 million, and in 2014 there were 453 permits with a valuation of $9.86 million.

The 2016 Permit Log is on file and available at City Hall.

2016 SHERIFF’S REPORT

The council also reviewed the 2016 Wright County Sheriff’s report.

Sheriff Joe Hagerty’s Office noted Albertville has been contracting law enforcement services with the Sheriff’s Office for over 40 years. Albertville achieved 24 hours a day coverage in 2005 and maintained that level of service until 2015. In July 2015, the contract was increased to 28 hours a day coverage, with the extra four hours being two patrol squads.

Last year’s annual sheriff’s office costs were $67 hourly with an annual cost of $686,616.

This year’s contract rate is $69.5 hourly at a projected cost of $710,289.

In 2016, Sheriff Deputies responded to 5,955 calls for service in Albertville in 2016. Of those calls for service, 2,480 incidents turned into a case report and required further investigation by the deputies.

The 2016 Albertville crime incidents included one robbery, three sex-related, five assault, five burglary, 11 court order violation, 24 drugs, 24 criminal damage to property, 57 fraud complaint and 303 thefts. There were 465 crime incidents in 2015, and 424 in 2014.

The sheriff identified the following “Cases of Interest” in 2016:

  • Emma’s Express was the scene of a robbery July 9 when an unidentified male entered the store and demanded money from the clerk. The suspect indicated through his movements that he had a weapon. A subsequent follow up investigation at the store turned up physical evidence that was later submitted to the Tri County Lab for analysis. One of these items of evidence was used to identify the suspect. This suspect was also a suspect in other similar incidents in a neighboring jurisdiction. The suspect was eventually located and was charged by the Wright County Attorney’s Office for robbery.
  • The Outlet Mall in Albertville has continued to be a target of shoplifting in 2016. Detectives working in Albertville, Monticello, Otsego and other cities with a high number of retail stores have been to training recently that was geared towards organized retail crime. There has been a growing trend in shoplifting cases where the suspects are habitual offenders who are often working with others to steal high value items.
  • The report was for informational purposes only and no further action was required by the council.

In other action, the council:

REAPPOINTED Mark Barthel to a four-year term on the planning commission, and appointed new commissioner Paul Buhrmann to a four-year term.