Columbus talks land lease, road closure

Julie Parent
Columbus Reporter

Shafer Contracting will be leasing four acres of land in Columbus for two months for $75,000.

The company plans to use the land to stockpile the gravel they will be hauling for the I-35 bridge project. The leased space is located in the northeast quadrant, north of the convenience store site and west of Hornsby Street. When the lease is up, the company is expected to restore the site to its original condition and ensure there is no contamination of the site. There were no objections to the arrangement from those in attendance.

Public Works Superintendent Jim Windingstad told the council during its Aug. 23 meeting that, in his opinion, Hornsby Street should be closed when Shafer starts working on the leased land. He feels the road will not hold up with the increased truck traffic. A Forest Lake resident has also complained that the road is unsafe because of the lack of striping, which is expensive to add. Some of the council members agreed, but Mayor Dave Povolny opposed closing the road, which is driven by approximately 2,300 cars per day. Povolny said he wants to discuss with the City of Forest Lake how closing the road would affect their residents before making a decision.

Columbus Park Board Chair Sandra Wood also appeared before the council during the meeting.

“Thank you for all of your hard work,” Povolny told Wood.

The council said they have received many compliments about a new black fence that has improved the look of City Park. They had also heard good comments about the lawn care.

“The parks have never looked so good,” Councilman Denny Peterson said.

However, the park on Howard Lake Drive has deteriorated and there is brush by the swing set. Wood told Povolny she is considering closing that park.