Back to asphalt for 237th Street

Scandia finds funds to pave part of street that was converted to gravel


Mary Bailey
Community Editor

In 2011 a poorly done stretch of 237th Street in Scandia was converted to gravel.

At the Sept. 18 council meeting Maintenance Superintendent Tim Kieffer persuaded the council to restore the pavement.

The council accepted the bid from Interstate Companies in Forest Lake for $20,750 to pave the gravel section.

Kieffer said the underlying problem of an inadequate base has been corrected. As part of laying a new gravel surface, at least a foot of Class 5 or equivalent was added, with more in some places.

“It might still be susceptible to frost,” he said, but “based on the last couple months, it looks like a pretty solid base.”

The budget can accommodate the expense because both the Melanie Trail project, done by city maintenance staff, and the sealcoating project, contracted out, came in under budget.

Kieffer said getting the road grader out to 237th Street to maintain the gravel stretch was not a good use of time. “I just think going to gravel is going backward,” he said.

Lilleskogen Funding

Improving Lilleskogen Park would go faster with grants, but grants won’t come until the park is further along.

Because of this Catch 22, Mike White, vice chair of the Park and Recreation Committee, asked the council to consider budgeting more money than the minimal amount available from park dedication fees.

The park committee wants to clear dead trees and brush, get rid of invasive non-native grasses, and restore the walking paths.

The budget now has $4,000, which White said would suffice for this fall.  But there’s no point in doing the work in the fall, he said, unless another $4,000 is available to maintain it next spring.

White said the fire department would be asked to burn off the canary grass.  Trails are already in place but need repair.

Paving the parking lot could be put on hold, perhaps for three years.  Because of holes where stumps were removed, White added, “ it’s almost a little bit  dangerous.”

The Scandia/Marine Lions want to spend money on the park.

Tom Triplett, vice president of the Scandia/Marine Lions in charge of contributions, said “We have funds we want to invest in city projects, and park projects are high on our list.  But we’re not going to put money into something if there isn’t a long-range funding plan.”

“We’d like to work strategically with you, so we’ll be back,” he said.

The council will discuss funding Lilleskogen Park improvements at the Oct. 9 work session, which will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Park Ordinance

The Park and Recreation committee recommended several changes to the rules for using city parks.

The nature area located in the northeast part of the city between TH-95 and the St. Croix River would revert to its original name, Wind in the Pines Preserve (not Park).

Hours would be extended so that parks close at 11 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.

Overnight parking would be banned.

At Wind in the Pines Preserve all types of fires, including the use of grills, would be illegal.

In parks where dogs are allowed, owners would be required to clean up after them before leaving the park. (Dogs are not allowed at Wind in the Pines.)

The council will vote on the changes after amendments have been drafted.

Sewer Systems

Natural Systems Utilities of Minnesota: EcoCheck, a Chisago City company, recently took over operation of the Uptown system, serving downtown businesses, and the Anderson/Erickson sewer system on Big Marine Lake.

Now EcoCheck will also operate the other sewer system on Big Marine Lake, the Bliss system.

The council voted to award EcoCheck the contract and to terminate the agreement with Washington County.

Other Actions

The new Polaris Ranger UTV, a gift to the fire department from the Scandia Fire Relief Association, will soon have a winch and trailer.  The council accepted the Scandia Marine Lions Club donation of $2,000 for the purchase.

The council approved a setback variance to allow construction of a septic system and well at a property on Big Marine Lake and an ordinary high water level variance to allow relocating a driveway and building a detached garage for a Bone Lake property.

An encroachment agreement with the Carnelian/Marine/St. Croix Watershed District was okayed for the Goose Lake ravine stabilization project.

The council also approved the following:

•2013 operating budget for the Forest Lake Cable Commission.

•2013 Purchase of Services agreement with the Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau in Forest Lake.

•2013 health insurance policy renewal.

•amendments to the 2012 public works budget (funds recategorized; no net effect).

•update to the Local Water Management Plan, part of the Scandia Comprehensive Plan.

•spending up to $100 for a gift to be presented to the Mayor of Upsala, Sweden during his visit to Scandia in October.