Residents to vote on street improvement bonding
The decision to issue general obligation bonds to fund street reconstruction improvements in the city of Wyoming is up to residents. The date of a special election was set by a vote of 5-0 Tuesday, June 4, by the Wyoming City Council. A number of possible dates were discussed before Tuesday, Aug. 27, was selected.
City Administrator Craig Mattson proposed scheduling the election for the same day as the primary election date. Councilwoman Linda Yeager also preferred having the special election as part of a primary or general election date. She would rather maximize turnout and save some election costs.
Mayor Eric Peterson was concerned about putting off the date too far into the future. Councilman Roger Elmore was concerned about catching people in town during the summer. He wanted to be certain there was a good turnout, as well.
Councilman Steve Zerwas was concerned about future interest rates and favored an earlier date.
Attorney Andrew Pratt told the council that the city could expedite bond sales if it anticipated an increase in interest rates. The bond sale could be held early, with funds held in escrow until the city begins its projects.
Councilman Joe Zerwas believes folks are ready to answer the ballot question and will be interested enough to be in town. He wants to be certain there is adequate publicity.
Resident Marie Wolhaupter asked about holding the special election in the community room to keep election costs down. Assistant City Administrator Robb Linwood explained that Maranatha allows the city to use the church as the city’s polling place for minimal clean-up costs. It is the only location that has close access to Highway 61, adequate parking and can accommodate the traffic volume.
In other business, building official Fred Weck reviewed proposed changes in the city’s zoning ordinance. This came as a result of a request from Grace Church to amend the ordinance to allow churches as a conditional use in the city’s commercial district. The church has been located at its present site since 2004.
Ultimately the council adopted the Planning Commission’s position of removing social, fraternal or charitable organizations as permitted uses from the central business district and commercial districts within the city, but allowing churches, clubs and lodges as conditional use facilities in the commercial district.
City staff’s recommendation was to delete these from both the central business district and commercial districts as permitted uses but to allow them in zoning designations A, R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4 and R-6, under “conditional use permit” requirements.
Currently, churches can be in commercial areas, A, R-1 through R-4, and R-6. However, no churches are allowed in industrial areas or the central business district. Club lodges may be located only in the commercial and mixed use areas of the city, under a conditional use permit.
The zoning change allows Grace Church to remain where it is but does not allow expansion or changes in the structure of the church.
Forest Lake Contracting Inc. has applied to the city for an interim use permit to haul black dirt. The proposal is for a five-year permit. A quarter-mile section of 250th Street North is located in Wyoming. Estimates are for about 40 truckloads per day to be hauled.
Engineer Mark Erichson said he has tried to contact Columbus. The main concern is heavy wear on that section of the street. He said a quick boring can determine the condition of the road. The company proposed a letter of credit of $25,000, which is the approximate cost of street overlay. Council authorized Erichson to contact the company with the understanding that the city is to be in control of the street.
In other action, the council unanimously approved:
– The appointment of Joe Kuskey to deputy fire chief.
– The selection of Midcontinent Communication to provide phone and Internet service for the city. By changing service providers from Frontier, the savings for the same phone and Internet service is estimated to be about $445 a month, Linwood said.
– Payment to Minnesota/Wisconsin Playground in the amount of $10,741 for a 20-foot shelter at the Goodview Skateboard Park. Funds are to come from Park Capital Improvement Fund, which has a balance of about $19,500.