The Crosslake City Council on Monday, June 14, discussed the proposed County State Aid Highway 66 sanitary sewer extension improvements, which in January 2020 the council agreed to delay for a year.

Easements need to be secured so when the project is ready to go for bids, the city can move forward, City Engineer Phil Martin, of Bolton & Menk, said. Those easements are needed for about 18 properties along the west side of CSAH 66.

The council agreed to move forward with the process, and was reminded that four of the five council members will have to agree on an assessment policy to move the project forward for bids in the future.

A resident talks to the Crosslake City Council about a right of way vacation request at the council's Monday, June 14, 2021, regular monthly meeting. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal Screenshot
A resident talks to the Crosslake City Council about a right of way vacation request at the council's Monday, June 14, 2021, regular monthly meeting. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal Screenshot

City Attorney Brad Person advised the council to get easements now, so when agreement comes to do the project at any time in the future, that part of it is done.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

The current total construction estimate for street, sanitary, storm sewer and stormwater ponds is $1,911,064. The city and Crow Wing County would do some cost sharing.

The council will host a public information meeting for 2022 road projects from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, July 21. It will then hold a road improvement preliminary assessment hearing from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25.

Policies

Crosslake City Administrator Mike Lyonais shared updates on the city’s Respectful Workplace Policy, American Rescue Plan Act funds and the local option sales tax.

The Respectful Workplace Policy was recently distributed to employees, including department heads and administration, as well as city council, city board and city commission members. A number of them still need to be signed and returned.

At the end of Monday’s meeting, the council met in closed session to discuss respectful workplace complaints.

The Legislature didn’t pass the tax bill yet, Lyonais said, but the city’s local option sales tax request is not in the House version of the bill. It is in the Senate version of the bill, but hopes are not high that the whole Legislature will approve the city’s request.

The city council has hoped to institute a half cent local option sales tax to help fund capital improvement projects. The process requires legislative approval authorizing the tax, followed by a city election for voter approval for the planned capital improvement projects within two years of receiving the legislative approval for the sales tax.

Right of way vacation

The council heard from Cindy Gibbs representing people who support going forward with a road right of way vacation application by Leo Varley, on Whitefish Avenue, which Varley withdrew.

Last month, the council denied Varley’s request after he sought to vacate Hillcrest Beach public right of way between properties. Varley, through his attorney, sought a modification in seeking to provide a cleared pathway through a new easement to provide access.

Mayor Dave Nevin said if a neighborhood uses and supports a public access, the city should leave it be. There’s no use having a public access no one can use, so he supports putting in steps so people can use this one.

City ordinance says these rights of way will not be improved, Parks and Recreation Director TJ Graumann said, adding he believes the issue should go back to the park commission.

Crosslake resident Bob Perkins thanked the city council for various city services during the open forum portion of the council's Monday, June 14, 2021, regular monthly meeting. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal Screenshot
Crosslake resident Bob Perkins thanked the city council for various city services during the open forum portion of the council's Monday, June 14, 2021, regular monthly meeting. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal Screenshot

Public safety

Crosslake police had 224 incidents in Crosslake and 78 in Mission Township in May.

Crosslake activity included 78 traffic warnings, nine traffic citations, two traffic arrests, one theft, four suspicious vehicle, three suspicious activity and two property damage accidents.

Mission Township activity included 51 traffic warnings, six traffic citations, three traffic arrests and one each burglary, property damage accident, suspicious person and suspicious vehicle.

Firefighters had 38 calls in May, including 29 emergency medical services calls.

North Memorial Health had 94 callouts in May.

In other business Monday, the council:

  • Heard from resident Bob Perkins during open forum, who issued thank yous to the fire and police departments and those who responded to a 911 call, to those who work on the cemetery and to the city for its crosswalks and trails.

  • Accepted the following donations: $5,000 for the fire department and $5,000 for the police department from Mike and Kelly Haglund; $2,953 to the fire department to buy ballistic helmets from the Crosslake Firefighters Relief Association; $2,000 to the police department to buy less lethal weapons from the American Legion; and $659 for the dog park from the Parks and Library Foundation.

  • Agreed to have Hy-Tec Construction install a drinking fountain at city hall for up to $4,800. Resident Tom Swenson has asked the council several times why there is no drinking fountain at city hall.

  • Held payment of $9,352 for mold mitigation until the council sees the study results.

  • Approved the preliminary plat of a common interest community - Sundance Ridge condominiums.

  • Agreed to meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 21, to review the 2021 budget.

  • Renewed the city’s joint powers agreement with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to access Criminal Justice Data Network and Court Data Services network, and agreed to pay about $50 per month to access the CJDN.

  • Agreed to notify nearby property owners who may be affected by right of way vacation applications before Park/Library Commission and Public Works Commission meetings so the commissions can make well-considered recommendations to the council.

  • Agreed to collect cash in lieu of land for the Pollock Subdivision.

  • Discussed crosswalks in the city and the idea for Crow Wing County to participate in and help pay for upgrades since CSAH 66 is a county road.

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.