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Lake Shore: Council at odds over informational mailings

Echo Journal file photo.

Two Lake Shore City Council members indicated Monday, Oct. 22, they didn't like city mailings regarding the two bond referendum questions that will be on residents' ballots Nov. 6. The mayor and city administrator responded that the mailings were meant to get information out to residents to encourage them to vote either way.

City Administrator Teri Hastings said the city was highly criticized recently about not getting information out to the public. The intent of the mailings was to get information that has been presented about plans to issue general obligation bonds for road improvement projects and a new city hall on a postcard to inform people and to get them to vote whichever way they decide.

Hastings said the city was being criticized for not getting information to residents, and now is being criticized for doing so.

The issue arose Monday when council member Wayne Anderson said he has been seeing in bond referendum materials that city hall is "unsafe" and if so, he wonders why city staff is still at city hall. If city hall is unsafe, staff shouldn't be there, he said, questioning what "unsafe" means.

Mayor Kevin Egan asked if Anderson wanted to do anything between now and Election Day, when residents will vote whether to allow the city to issue bonds to build a new city hall.

Anderson said in his opinion, city hall is safe and he doesn't see a need to do anything now. He said he believed the information on mailings is a misrepresentation, and Egan disagreed.

Council member John Terwilliger said he has received calls about the city wasting money on advertisements.

Hastings said a Nisswa company developed the mailings from information that has been presented regarding issuing bonds for a new city hall building and road projects.

"We provided her with all of the background information that was collected throughout the city hall building process," Hastings said.

Terwilliger said the information shouldn't identify radon and asbestos issues. Anderson added that city hall shouldn't be described as "unsafe" either.

After radon and asbestos were detected at city hall, new heating and air conditioning duct work was installed around the ceiling perimeter, and the old asbestos ductile ductwork in the floor was sealed with concrete, which reduced the radon levels and encapsulated the asbestos. City hall still has asbestos in the floor and low levels of radon gas (below 4.0).

Egan said the city is doing its best to condense four years of city hall study into postcards to get information to people.

Pohl Road

The council agreed to costs to be assessed for Pohl Road improvements and set a public hearing for residents to address the proposed assessment costs.

Improvements total $125,069, with the city paying $50,027 and benefiting property owners being assessed $75,041. Assessments will be payable in equal annual installments for 10 years with the first installment payable by the first Monday in January 2019. Interest rate is 5 percent.

A public hearing on the proposed assessments will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at city hall with costs being further explained to residents who must pay them.

Public safety

Police reported 132 incidents in the last month, including 79 traffic-related incidents and 53 miscellaneous calls. Traffic reports included 68 warnings and seven citations. Miscellaneous calls included six suspicious activity, one property damage and one assault complaint. Police assisted other agencies nine times.

The Nisswa Fire Department had 33 calls for service in September, including 24 emergency medical services calls, four car accidents, three gas calls and one each vehicle fire and fire alarm.

In other business Monday, the council:

• Agreed to meet at 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, to canvass results of the Nov. 6 general election.

• Agreed to hire Justin Clasen & Co. for auditing services for $8,100 in 2018, $8,350 for 2019 and $8,550 for 2020.

• Agreed to Michael and Kathleen Ruhland's request to rezone property from waterfront commercial to medium density residential. The property is the former Rainbow Resort on County 78. They plan to occupy the property as a residence and not run it as a resort.

• Learned the city issued five land-use permits in September for a total valuation of $1,154,200. Permits included two dwellings, one relocate dwelling (trailer), one residential addition, three accessory structures, four decks/porches/patios and two septic systems.

• Heard that four miles of Trail 77 are complete, with the need to raise funds for an additional mile to Nisswa.

• Agreed to add a $12,000 cost back into professional engineering services to include the Wienzel Point lift station.

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