Cass County Board: Access changes to Shingobee Island discussed
LONGVILLE--Cass County commissioners approved two preliminary steps Tuesday toward realigning access onto Shingobee Island and toward adding the long-closed restaurant back onto the island's community sewer system.
LONGVILLE-Cass County commissioners approved two preliminary steps Tuesday toward realigning access onto Shingobee Island and toward adding the long-closed restaurant back onto the island's community sewer system.
The board set a public hearing for the 9 a.m. June 6 regular board meeting at the courthouse in Walker to consider vacating an existing access from Highway 371 to Leech Lake.
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe has been remodeling the former restaurant building on the island this spring, with plans to open it as a sports bar and grill early this summer.
County Administrator Joshua Stevenson told the board this road vacation will be the first step toward converting access to the island from a two-road pass-through to a single access.
Leech Lake Band plans to provide a new access from Shingobee Island to the lake, Stevenson said. The single access from Highway 371 to the island will divert traffic to both the residential area and to the new bar and grill.
Eventually, MnDOT plans to make turn lanes on Highway 371 into the single island access to improve safety and handle higher traffic volumes, Stevenson added.
The Shingobee Island community sewer system was put into operation about 23 years ago when the former restaurant was open, Environmental Services Director John Ringle recalled.
A community sewer board initially oversaw its operation. The former restaurant and some other businesses on the island closed and withdrew from service. Residents on the island were less interested in managing the sewer and water service, so the county took over its operating and billing for services, Ringle said.
The sewer system is designed to handle 8,000 gallons of effluent per day, Ringle said. It is recommended to run up to 75 percent of capacity, he added.
The new bar and grill is expected to generate about 3,600 gallons per day, so the entire system is expected to run below capacity, according to Ringle.
He recommended and the commissioners approved paying $2,730 to purchase and install a Vipar Telemetry service to automatically collect data on the sewer system. There would be a $23 per month data service fee.
They also approved paying Northland Septic Service $60 per month for on-site monitoring, recording weekly flows, two service calls per year and to be on call for sewer pump alarms.
They approved a one-time cost to have the six to eight existing tanks on each Shingobee Island property pumped once before the restaurant property is added back onto the system. Each privately owned property has its own tank. The effluent from these is then pumped into a community drainfield on the other side of Highway 371.
The bar and grill will be required to pre-treat its effluent to remove grease before it enters the community system, Ringle said.
He may recommend adding water meters in the future, but no action was taken to do so at this time, he said.
Costs for the expenditures approved Tuesday will be paid from the community sewer system trust fund. System users pay a monthly sewer and water fee into that system for its operation.