Lanesboro City Council hears concerns regarding proposed location of wastewater treatment plant

By: 
Bretta Grabau

Members of the Lanesboro community addressed members of the City Council on Monday, June 3, during the community input portion of the meeting. Residents brought forth concerns regarding the wastewater treatment plant site. Residents asked the council to reconsider the placement and noted, though there have been a lot of meetings posted about this issue, not everyone knew about the issue.

During the regular meeting, City Attorney Thomas Manion stated he had looked at the legislative history and function of utilities as well as the process that had been taken. He determined the process the city has taken is fine, but the utilities commission does not have the final authority to pass anything, simply provide input to the council. The City Council has the final say, Manion said noting, “The buck stops here. What is most important are the merits. The moratorium vote really has no affect on what the City Council says.”

Prior to the discussion with Manion, the council passed the ordinance for the floodplain district and its summary for printing.

Chamber

Chamber director Andrzej Zalasinski has been working on a website for the 150th anniversary celebration for Lanesboro and will have the site go live very soon. On the website, schedules and events for the celebration would be posted for the calendar year.

Lanesboro will officially have the #OnlyinMN sign for three weeks during the summer. The sign is from the Minnesota Board of Tourism to help spread the word of highlights from communities throughout the state. Lanesboro will sport the sign for three weeks, including Buffalo Bill Days, located on the levy by the veteran’s memorial, in time for the parade. The city is looking into options to light the sign during its exhibition in the city.

The Chamber is also working hard on expanding its sphere of influence in advertising at a very good cost, working its way toward Milwaukee and Chicago. One ad is with Minnesota Monthly, which has ads in Rochester, even in the skyway. Another ad was placed in the Cedar Falls Courier.

Other updates provided to the council were the desire to revamp the chamber website and hours at the visitor’s center, which now include being opened on Sundays. The membership drive will also begin in the next few months.

SmartPac Automatic Compactors

Mayor Jason Resseman briefed the council on concerns from business owners who brought to his attention the disarray and unsightliness of the refuse cans in the downtown area. With garbage spilling out and bees flying around the cans, it posed a disagreeable site in Lanesboro.

Therefore Resseman inquired into the issue after seeing some compactors utilized on the Mayo Clinic Campus. He had thought to inquire into those compactors used at Mayo but discovered local business Harmony Enterprises also has the ability to provide the town with Smartpack Automatic Compactors.

 According to Resseman, Harmony Enterprises was very “amenable” to working with Lanesboro in providing the compactors, which would be similar to the usual can size, though a little narrower.

He noted, “It is a very tidy, unique system” and would compact refuse in with a ratio of 15 to 1. He said the compactors would need to be removed during the winter because of the hydraulics, but Harmony Enterprises is willing to install them, store them over the winter and deliver them back to the city in April. There would also be options to advertise businesses on the compactors.

An alarm would be sent out to city employees when the compactor is nearing capacity. And should a short be discovered, the serviceman is only a few miles away in Harmony.

Council Member Bridget Harvey was in favor of trying out the compactors, and presented the motion to try out three compactors this summer. The council accepted the motion four to one.

CEDA

The Lanesboro EDA has been losing momentum for a while, as evidenced by the decrease in members involved. Resseman brought up the option of bringing CEDA in to Lanesboro to help the EDA get going again. He said he had spoken with the directors of the EDAs in Harmony and Preston who had a lot of good things to say about CEDA’s involvement in the community and working with the councils. Before moving on this, the proposal was tabled for the council to look into it in more depth.

Other business

City Administrator Michele Peterson stated she had received complaints about the narrowness on Auburn due to people parking on the street and asked what to do. The council tabled the issue.

Susie Slater resigned from the Historic Preservation Commission, which was approved by the council. The council also approved opening the position to be filled.

Jeff Bollen resigned from the public utilities commission and the council voted to fill the empty position as well.

The council approved the one submission it had received for the comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance update.

Organizers of the Filthy 50, the large bike ride coming to Lanesboro in October, submitted a request to put up a banner across Parkway from the bank to Pedal Pushers as well as putting up some of its own banners on light posts near the event start. Peterson brought this to the council especially since it would require some city staff time. The council granted the request.

Peterson informed the council she had been notified by Fillmore County that a suit for real estate and personal property taxes had reached settlement and Lanesboro would receive a return of just over $6,000.

Finally, a resolution amending the EDA, a Verizon lease amendment, an Icon agreement for the dam project, an application for lawful gambling at the Chamber of Commerce golf tournament and the building permits, extensions and renewals policy were approved.