In a memo addressed to both the Linwood Planning & Zoning Commission and Road & Bridge Committee, Linwood Attorney Michael Haag summarized his research about requirements for special assessment for street repairs: “The Township has historically required that 100 percent of the affected residents approve of a special assessment zoning change before it will be approved by the board.”
At the Town Board meeting last Tuesday, he clarified “affected” to mean those whose properties are located along the road that is being considered for upgrades.
In Linwood, there are residents who are urging paving of a short section of Typo Creek Drive extending north from Fawn Lake Drive to the border with Isanti County.
According to Haag, Linwood’s requirements are quite stringent compared with Minnesota state statues. If residents petition for special assessment improvement, “only 35 percent of the residents are required to bring it before the board.” The board can approve it with a simple majority; three of five supervisors.
If the board proposes a special assessment improvement, “without respect to the affected residents, then a supermajority, four out of five supervisors, must vote in favor of the approval.”
Haag’s proposal is to require 35 percent of residents, whose property abuts the street, to begin a 60-day feasibility study. This “could include obtaining bids, polling the affected residents and polling nonaffected residents who live nearby for their input. The project would only go forward if 75 percent of the affected residents agreed within the 60-day time period.”
Lyons Den status
There were questions at the meeting about the status of the finalization of street work in the Lyons Den development. The shoulders of the roads have not been finished and continue to wear. Haag said he has used every avenue to pursue Sherco Construction but has received no response. The completion bond has expired.
Because of the unfinished roads, there is a moratorium on the issuance on building permits in the development. It was noted that Tom Carlisle, Sherco owner, has been granted permits to build in other areas of the township. Supervisor Bob Millerbernd called for an all-out ban on building permits.
A probate hearing has finally been scheduled for July 13 regarding the matter of a burned-out house in Lyons Den, according to Haag. A buyer for cars on the property has been lined up, though no action can be taken until the estate is finalized.
Osterhus announced that the Department of Natural Resources office in the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area is to be closed. Repairs to the roof of the building are too expensive, so the building is to be razed.
As a result, a grass rig the agency owns may be available for purchase. The Linwood Fire Department owns a similar rig, which is 10 years older. Osterhus estimates the DNR rig has a value of $8,000. It is anticipated that the Fire Department can get a $3,000 discount, though the deal has not been finalized. The 1988 grass rig the department owns has a resale value of about $4,500.
Millerbernd reported that the pavilion for Linwood Elementary has been completed.
Equipment for exercise stations has been installed at Boettcher Farms Park. Most of the rest of the equipment will be ready by the end of July. New tennis court nets have been ordered.
The Sunrise River Water Management Organization continues to wait for a response from the DNR about a $38,000 grant to help finance a carp barrier at the south end of Martin Lake. Millerbernd explained that the DNR is holding up its decision because thus far there is only one applicant for the grant.
Millerbernd pointed out a letter written by Cheri Stockinger, president of the Linwood Community Park and School Forest. She alerted the board about right of way payments that are being assigned to homeowners whose properties lie along the route of the Great River power line extension. She believes that the township and forest should benefit from the payments.
The Anoka Conservation District is working to eradicate buckthorn in some oak savanna areas in Anoka County and to that end is seeking funding from the Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. Stockinger wrote a letter on behalf of the Linwood Community Park and School Forest committee supporting the group’s efforts to eliminate the invasive species.
Supervisor Ed Kramer clarified that the recycling effort in the township and Anoka County has expanded to accept plastics up to those with code 7. In addition, residents can bring tires and old television sets for recycling at Town Hall on the fourth Saturday of the month.