During the Lanesboro City Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 5, the council learned more about the possible pavement of Zenith from Maple to Woodview Ave.

Last month, the council asked Brian Malm from the engineering firm of Bolton & Menk to look into the cost of paving the street and provide a feasibility study for the project. In his report, Malm did designate the project feasible and listed the cost of construction only would be $66,515, with the paving being done with the completion of the Auburn and Zenith project. The biggest question settles on assessments.

The city has a policy stating that assessments on roads, which have not been completed and blacktopped, the first time is to be 100 percent assessed. The portion of Zenith in question is not a completed street.

Malm submitted a couple of options for the council to consider, a 100 percent assessed alternative and a 30 percent assessed alternative. In the maximum alternative, the total estimated amount to be assessed is $66,515, the city cost is $0 and the estimated assessment rate is $29.17 per foot of property abutting the improvements. In the minimum alternative, the estimated amount to be assessed is $19,954.50, the city cost is $46,560.50 and the estimated assessment rate is $8.75 per foot of property abutting the improvements.

City Administrator Michele Peterson commented she had discussed the options with financial advisor Mike Bubany, who recommended the 100 percent along with a waiver signed by every one of the homeowners.

Several homeowners were present at the meeting and expressed concern regarding the 100 percent option. Phil Dybing noted if that was the route the council would take, it would be better to forget the proposal noting not all of the homeowners would sign the waiver. The homeowners requested a public hearing to discuss the situation with the city council and see if there would be a way to make both parties happy about the project.

As such, the council passed a resolution approving the feasibility report and calling for a public hearing before the next council meeting.

Generation X

Construction for the Auburn and Zenith project did not get completed within the timeline provided, though there were some unforeseen conditions which prevented completion by the date originally scheduled. This resulted in 10 days of credit for the unforeseen circumstances, however, Malm noted there are still 11 days of liquidated damages.

He corresponded with Ryan Oian, owner of Generation X, who asked the liquidated damages be reduced to three days. The council agreed to reduce the liquidated damages to eight days, but it is expected that Generation X will not agree with the amount.

During the construction on Auburn and Zenith, an incident occurred resulting in the flooding of two basements and substantial damages were incurred. After consultations with Generation X’s insurance company, one of the homeowners settled, but a dispute has been made from the other.

According to Malm, the contract with the city requires the contractor to cover all damages arising from the issue. However, the insurance will not cover the entire estimate the homeowner received. Due to these two facts, Malm noted the contractor is to make up the difference.

Generation X responded stating it did not understand how it could be responsible for the costs if the homeowner accepted the insurance offer. Oian stated he would have his attorney review the contract provisions. There will be a meeting for detailed discussion between the council, the city engineer, Generation X and Generation X’s attorney.

Lanesboro dam update

Chris Goodwin of Ayers Associates updated the council on the plan for the Lanesboro dam. The construction design is 90 percent complete and has gone through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) once already. Since SHPO stated the historic dam cannot be touched, the plan is to essentially build another, cellular dam upstream from the old dam and lower the lake four to five feet.

There are still some details to be discussed with Malm regarding the storm sewer drainage. Goodwin outlined the three phases of the construction briefly for the council and noted the cost estimate for the dam would be $3.1 million.

Goodwin stated the final design should be submitted by March 1 and with permit applications around that time as well. He noted the permit reviewal period should be assumed to be around six to nine months. The construction should take place in 2019, taking up most of the summer months. Some construction may be able to start in springtime.

Goodwin also noted the DNR expressed concern about the creek upstream if the lake were lowered several feet. He stated there is already a channel to the stream so it should not be affected by a lower water level. In addition, only 3,000 yards of sediment will be relocated from the cells pounded down to the bedrock and excavated. Once the sediment is removed, the cells will be filled with concrete.

Committee reports

Ambulance Director Deane Benson presented a policy amendment to the department which would allow EMTs for other organizations to assist in the department. He related he knows of two EMTs in the area who work for other organizations and already have the training required for the department. There would be no expense to the Lanesboro Ambulance Department, but because they have not received their training through Lanesboro, they would not fall under the current policy. The council approved the request.

In addition, the council received a request to purchase a power cot/loading system for the ambulance. The system would allow one person to load and unload a patient, holding up to 700 pounds. This would be expensive, around $40,000, but it would save potential back problems with current department members and would prevent lawsuits if a patient would be dropped. Several area sources have donated money for the purchase. The council agreed to purchase the cot/loading system. Benson also noted the cot the department has now is in great condition and should have good resale value.

Public Works Supervisor Andy Drake requested the council purchase a new bush auger since the current one is quite old and some parts are worn out. The council agreed.

Other business

The council agreed with planning and zoning’s recommendation regarding the ally vacation parallel to Beacon Street and perpendicular to Parkway Avenue to prevent a landlocking situation.

The council approved a proposal from Michael Charlebois regarding the riprap behind Riverside on the Root he has inquired of the council for several years. The proposal was for Charlebois to pay for $1,800 and the city $6,000 since the issue stemmed from a problem in the city’s infrastructure. This was agreed upon.

Last month the businesses asked about paving the Parkway Alley. The council looked at an estimate and hopes to pave the alley during the summer. However, the businesses will be responsible for costs incurred from burying the electrical cables.

A third street has been identified as private property. Peterson has verified with the county that these streets the city has been maintaining are in fact private. Peterson will be contacting the owners if they would like them to remain private. If they remain private, the city will cease to maintain them.

The council approved a gambling license and a liquor license for the National Wild Turkey Federation.

The city also accepted a request for a student to come for work experience in the city office during study break.

Upcoming regular meetings were moved to Tuesday, March 6, and Monday, April 9.

The council also approved a funding application through the DNR for repairs in Sylvan Park including riprapping around the pond, replacing the shelter lost last year and other items.

Peterson asked to attend a Minnesota Municipal Clerk Institute offered by St. Cloud State University. It is a three-year training program. She has applied for a grant to attend the program and requested the city make up the difference and hotel room. The council agreed.

The council will take turns assisting Peterson in employee reviews.

Finally, the council approved an appointment for the Historic Preservation Commission and the 2018 Fillmore County Ambulance subsidy contract.