Polaris expansion now official

Development agreement approved last week by Wyoming City Council


Alice Pickering
Wyoming Reporter

Polaris has made its commitment to expand its research and development center in Wyoming. The City Council approved the development agreement between the City of Wyoming and Polaris Industries Inc. at the meeting Oct. 16.

Plans are to build a 143,773 square-foot addition to its product and development center on Viking Blvd.  Action authorizes the Mayor and Administrator to sign legal papers on behalf of the city.

Rather than retaining stormwater easements on the property, the city will have an irrevocable license to inspect the storm water areas to verify their maintenance.

Polaris still questions the amounts of the water and sewer connect charges (WAC and SAC).  Mark Erichson calculated these according to the city’s fee schedule.  The WAC fees for the project are $139,640.32.  The SAC fees are $161,883.91.  Erichson will review these again.

Attorney Mark Vierling indicated Polaris has 60 days to file a challenge to these fees.  Some other minor changes in the development agreement are “technical and routine,” according to Vierling. Approval was by a vote of 5-0.

The next City Council meeting is rescheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8. A public hearing about Polaris Minnesota Investment Fund is scheduled for the same evening. The council added the Polaris application for JOBZ and future city tax abatement to the public hearing schedule. Approval was unanimous. A council work session scheduled before this meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Other Business

Lisa Iverson announced a Wyoming Area Business Association candidates forum at Stars and Strikes tonight, Oct. 25.  The session begins with pizza between 6:30-7 p.m. The question-and-answer session begins at 7 p.m. Residents will be able to ask questions from the floor. Joe Zerwas was unable to attend the forum at Wyoming Elementary, but promises to be on hand for this one.

During the meeting’s Open Forum there were more questions about raises for City Administrator Craig Mattson and the Public Safety Director Paul Hoppe.  Joe Zerwas explained that the raise covered some years which were passed over.

Mayor Eric Peterson indicated that the salary increase for Mattson was in part mitigated by Mattson becoming eligible for Medicare and therefore went off the group insurance with the city. The net effect was savings for the city in the amount of $6,500.

Dan Babbitt revisited earlier questions about the raises for both Hoppe and Mattson. In particular he thinks Hoppe is overpaid, when compared to individual command responsibilities and total personnel. His reference example was the St. Cloud Police Department, to which he referred. The city did survey similar communities, to determine compensation and consulted information available from the League of Minnesota Cities.

One item of business for the Wyoming City council on Tuesday was approval of the recommended list of candidates for the Wyoming Board of Appeals for 2012. Two appointees are Roger Elmore and Steve Zerwas; both are council members.  Others appointed were Judy Coughlin, Mark Lobermeier, and Maureen Wolhaupter. The alternate is Lisa Iverson. Approval was unanimous.

Joe Zerwas reported on the negotiation session between Chisago Lakes Joint Sewer Commission and employees. An adjustment was made to medical insurance coverage for single employees.

Steve Zerwas also attended the CLJSC meeting. He reported that finally a settlement seems likely in regard to the defective pump shafts. While he had no numbers, the settlement involving the shafts, should be a substantial savings when the CLJSC purchases replacements.