Crosslake will continue to pursue a local option sales tax to raise funds for infrastructure projects, the city council decided Monday, Oct. 12.

City Administrator Mike Lyonais told the council that 20 cities, including Crosslake, were looking for a local option sales tax - which needs Legislative approval and a voter referendum - when the COVID-19 pandemic halted efforts for all.

Lyonais said he heard the Legislature may make changes to this process, and was told the city has to start over in its request by Jan. 31, 2021. Currently, a referendum would have to be held so the city would have to conduct one on its own in 2021 or wait until the next election cycle in 2022.

“We haven’t really stopped, so I’d say let’s bring it back to life and get rolling,” council member Dave Schrupp said, and other council members agreed.

The council had been working toward implementing a 0.5% local option sales and use tax in the city over 15 years to help fund $6 million in estimated costs for three proposed wastewater infrastructure projects. The city had hoped to gain legislative and voter approval to implement the tax in 2021.

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The council conducted its meeting at city hall with all council members and staff attending. City meetings are also available online via Zoom.

Roads

The council agreed to have Widseth engineering firm prepare require reports for 2021 road projects, which total an estimated $1,433,850 for the following projects:

  • Sealcoat: Perkins Road ($13,000) and Daggett Bay Road ($5,000).

  • Bituminous overlay: Whitefish Avenue ($349,000), Hilltop Drive ($12,000), Woodland Avenue ($15,000) and Cool Haven Lane ($43,000).

  • Reconstruction: Wild Wind Ranch Drive ($160,000), Rushmoor Boulevard ($278,250), Harbor Lane segment ($168,000) and Birch Narrows Road ($390,600).

Public safety

Police officer Adam Lane ended his six-month probationary status and now has full-time status.

The council declared two department vehicles and a radar trailer as surplus so they can be sold.

The council accepted a donation from an anonymous couple who paid for eight steel silhouette targets from American Steel in Brainerd.

Police reported 195 calls in September in Crosslake, including 12 agency assists, seven all-terrain vehicle, one burglary, 20 emergency medical services, four noise complaints, one personal injury accident, two property damage accidents, two suspicious activity, two suspicious vehicle, three thefts, one traffic arrest, eight traffic citations and 40 traffic warnings.

In Mission Township, police had 82 calls in September, including 10 agency assists, one property damage accident, three suspicious activity, one traffic arrest, 11 traffic citations and 49 traffic stops.

The fire department had 29 calls in September, including 19 medical assists and one rescue.

North Memorial Ambulance in Crosslake reported 65 calls in September.

In other business Monday, the council:

  • Approved expenditures for the fire hall remodeling project, as well as a three-month lease with Dan Miller for $5,000 per month for a temporary location for fire equipment while remodeling work occurs.

  • Learned planning and zoning issued 39 permits in September.

  • Agreed to apply for a Transportation Alternatives federal grant with Crow Wing County as sponsor for 2025 to improve connectivity on County Road 66, especially in light of increased activity with the future National Loon Center being built at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation area. County Engineer Tim Bray spoke to the council about the grant.

  • Approved a memorandum of understanding to allow a reallocation of grant funds for the Island-Loon/Manhattan Boulevard storm water pond, allowing the city an additional $30,000 in reimbursable costs.

  • Approved the refuse hauler licence application with a $1,000 annual fee that will be required from refuse haulers providing garbage and recycling collection services. This is new to the city and is in response to the city wanting recycling services in the city after the city drop-off site closed.

  • Agreed to meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12 - instead of the normal Monday, Nov. 9 - to canvass the Nov. 3 election results and to avoid having two meetings that week. Crow Wing County must accept absentee and mail-in ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 for seven days following the election, or Nov. 10, so the council can’t canvass results on its normal meeting night because complete results won’t be known until Nov. 10.

  • Certified unpaid sewer charges.

  • Agreed to collect $3,000 in park dedication revenue in lieu of land for the Bolton Subdivision.

  • Approved a Shannon’s Auto Body estimate of $7,544 to install a new plow system on the 2021 park truck.

  • Hired a cleaning service at the community center for $22,575 per year and increased part-time wages from $10 per hour to $12 per hour. Parks and Recreation Director TJ Graumann needs more staff so the community center can reopen with full-time hours. Of nine part-time employees, two returned after the COVID-19 related layoff.

  • Agreed to pay Widseth engineering firm $1,680 for a concept site plan for the proposed South Bay Park project.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.