Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Development projects lead council agenda

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 2/15/18

TOWER– Economic development projects dominated the city council meeting here on Monday, as the council gave approval to several motions to further ongoing projects.

The council gave approval to …

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Development projects lead council agenda

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TOWER– Economic development projects dominated the city council meeting here on Monday, as the council gave approval to several motions to further ongoing projects.

The council gave approval to new building design standards for the business park and approved the proposed location and exterior design of the planned 9,000 square-foot industrial building which will house Lamppa Manufacturing and possibly a second business. The project has been underway for several months and is slated to go for bid in early April with construction set to begin in late May.

In related business, the council approved a resolution authorizing a grant request to the IRRRB to cover some infrastructure-related costs on the industrial building project, such as necessary blacktopping. The council also green-lighted a final proposed plat for the harbor area, which includes platting of that portion of the city’s business park located west of Hwy. 135.

The new plat was necessary to define the lots in the industrial park as well as the land surrounding the harbor. The platting issue has been one source of delay on the harbor town home project, which should now soon be resolved. St. Louis County will still need to give final approval of the new plat, which could take about 60 days.

The council also appointed City Clerk-Treasurer Linda Keith, Mayor Josh Carlson, and new TEDA president Steve Peterson to negotiate a lease with Lamppa Manufacturing, which is planning to lease 4,500 square feet of the new industrial building.

In other economic development, the council tabled bids on planned demolition work at the former Standing Bear Marina, now owned by Your Boat Club, after the two bids were far apart. Dave Rose bid $32,100, while CC Winger bid $251,500. City engineers said the enormous difference suggests the project was inadequately scoped. The project specs were developed by the new marina owner and were not reviewed by SEH. Your Boat Club principal Luke Kujawa said he had received a quote of $71,000 from a well-established dock installer in central Minnesota that had visited the site and understood the project well.

Matt Bolf, of SEH, suggested that the IRRRB might have wage requirements associated with the project and that the city should get more information before approving a bid. Mayor Josh Carlson initially said he favored rejecting both bids, but after further discussion, the council voted to table the bids pending more information. City officials hope to have their questions answered in time for a special meeting on Feb. 20.

In other business, the council:

‰ Gave approval to publish the EAW for Dave Rose’s proposed RV park along the East Two River. City officials noted that publication of the EAW is just one of many remaining steps for the project. It will appear in the Feb. 22 edition of the state-published EQB Monitor.

• Approved job descriptions and missions for city committees and commissions.

• Heard an update on the city’s plan to replace its existing septic system at the airport with holding tanks. A lift station pump for the current system needs replacement and the city is looking at installing holding tanks instead of fixing the pump. City Engineer Jason Chopp said his initial investigation suggests the city would be better off installing two 2,000-gallon tanks rather than one 4,000-gallon tank as originally proposed. He said he still thinks the cost will be under $10,000, but that the city will need to hire a licensed designer to actually create the project plan. Last month, Chopp estimated the cost of a new lift station pump at approximately $5,000.

• Approved a mutual aid agreement with the Hoyt Lakes Ambulance Service.

• Approved a change in the city’s dog and cat license fee to $10 for the lifetime of the pet.

• Gave the first reading to a revision of Ordinance 81A that annexes 23.13 acres of city-owned land in Kugler Township into the city limits.

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