Weekly Memo 6-29-2012

Each Weekly Memo to the City Council is also provided on the City Council web page.

WEEKLY UPDATE:

Fire Chief position

I have appointed Gary Larson as Interim Fire Chief, effective Monday, July 2.  I expect the formal job announcement for the vacant position to be released the following week.  Both internal and external candidates will be eligible to apply.

Waste Water bonding application

The City submitted this week its application for bonding funds on the city’s proposed waste water treatment improvements.  The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) since has extended the deadline for submittals to July 9.  MSA Professional Services submitted its peer review report to the Mayor and City Council this week.  I determined based upon the preliminary findings from this second opinion that the City could continue on the current path.

Development Update

I dedicated much time this week to development activities including the Minnesota Heights proposal and continued activity on residential lot sales.  We are seeing signs of vastly improved economy, although I do not expect an immediately return to pre-2008 levels of growth.

DEPARTMENT REPORTS:

Police Department, Chief Mike Hedlund

EGFPD Officers Undergo Emergency Vehicle Operations Training

Six officers with the EGFPD are getting refresher training in Emergency Vehicle Operations (EVOC) this week.  The Grand Forks Police Department is hosting an EVOC course this week and the EGFPD officers are taking part in this course.  The training, a required course for officers to maintain their peace officer’s licenses, includes classroom instruction as well as practical training that involve the officers driving a squad car under simulated emergency conditions.

July 4th Festivities

The 4th of July is always an exciting time for families and especially children.  Fireworks can be a lot of fun but they can also be very dangerous – and some can be illegal.  Parents need to closely supervise any use of fireworks and ensure that they are being used safely.  Severe burns, other injuries and death can be caused by improperly handled fireworks.  Help us keep this 4th of July one to remember for all of the right reasons.

Public Works Department, Jason Stordahl

Reminder:  The City of East Grand Forks has been chosen to participate in the Recyclebank and SC Johnson Green Choices Recycling Challenge, a nationwide competition to get us all recycling. The winner of the competition will receive a $100,000 grant that goes towards a community sustainability project!  Residents participating in the contest can also earn points for deals and discounts at local businesses.

Sign up today at Recyclebank.com/greenchoices!  If you have any question on the contest please call East Grand Forks Public Works Department at 218-773-1313.

Agenda Items:

The City Council will hold two public hearings to certify assessment rolls.  One hearing will be for 14th Avenue SE (11AJ01) street improvements, and one hearing will be for 13th Street SE and Greenway Boulevard (12AJ03) street improvements.  The proposed assessment rolls are higher than proposed due to a combination of lower state-aid street eligibility and higher bid prices in selected areas.  The City contribution to the 14th Ave SE project also will be higher.  The City Council will consider approving the bid awards for these two projects on Items 5 and 6 under Scheduled Bid Lettings.

Item 7 considers the bid award for the proposed swimming pool renovation.  The total cost, including soft costs, is just over $1.9 million.  The cost is approximately $340,000 above the original estimate.  This price includes the base bid only.  The base bid essentially includes a rehabilitation of the pool with new concrete, pump, and drainage systems along with a refurbished bath house.  Several alternates including a pool cover, decorative fence, fountains, and cabanas, are not included in the current proposal.  The funding source is a proposed low-interest transfer from the Electric Fund to be repaid over 10 years.  The debt service will be slightly over $200,000 per year.

The consent agenda contains items 8 through 14.  The items include:

  • A special inspections contract with Braun Intertec for Library roof reconstruction
  • A renewal of the annual Joint Powers Agreement with Northland College for student transit services.  The agreement is virtually identical to the previous year.
  • The annual resolution to re-authorize the New Home Incentive program to include a two-year tax abatement on new, owner-occupied homes.
  • A resolution to appoint election judges for the general election in November.
  • A resolution to approve the 2012 Transit Plan update via the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
  • A resolution to approve the development agreement for the Minnesota Heights mixed-use building proposal.
  • A resolution to consider the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds in the proposed Minnesota Heights development.

Item 17 is the second and final reading to amend the downtown commercial ordinance to allow ground-floor residential space.  At least 35 percent of ground-floor space must remain commercial space under the new ordinance.

Items 18 and 19 formally approve and certify the final assessment rolls for 11AJ01 and 12AJ03, discussed above.

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