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Crosslake council hears update on outstanding planning and zoning bills

The Crosslake City Council learned Monday, Feb. 10, that $6,186 in outstanding planning and zoning fees owed to the city have been repaid, but $4,294.50 is still owed.

In November 2013, City Clerk Char Nelson brought it to the council’s attention that more than $11,000 in planning and zoning fees were owed to the city, with some bills going back to 2011. The fees included legal fees, surveying costs and engineering fees, and ranged from bills of $13.50 to more than $1,500.

Nelson told the council in a memo Feb. 10 that the city has sent two notices to individuals who owe money, but there are still residents who have not replied.

Michael Lyonais, city finance director/treasurer, said 15 property owners have not paid, 10 of whom have not made any response to the city. The other five have refused to pay.

Lyonais and Nelson suggested the council send a final letter by certified mail to the 10 property owners who have not made any response. Any unpaid fees will be assessed to property owners’ taxes.

Nelson said most property owners were unaware they owed any fees and were apologetic for not having paid.

City attorney Brad Nelson suggested the city send certified letters twice a year for any unpaid bills. Some cities that don’t do so, he said, can get stuck with large bills that residents never pay. Person said he would draft an ordinance that the council can approve if it wishes at a future meeting.

Public safety

The Crosslake Police Department reported 120 calls to service in Crosslake in January, including (most notably) 24 traffic stops, one traffic citation, 20 alarms, 13 agency assists, 20 EMS calls, three deaths, five gun permits, one missing person, two property damage accidents and two thefts.

For Mission Township, the department reported 22 calls to service, including 10 traffic warnings, two traffic citations, two traffic arrests, one public assist, one property damage accident, one motorist assist, one animal complaint, three alarms and one agency assist.

The Crosslake Fire Department reported 17 calls in January: 13 medicals, two mutual aid building fires and two false alarms.

In other business Monday, Feb. 10, the council:

• Approved a contract for police services with Mission Township at an annual cost of $48,000.

• Approved annual contracts for fire service to Manhattan Beach for $10,389.15 and Fairfield Township for $17,878.31. Prices are based on tax capacity — the price for services is 3.5 percent of each area’s tax capacity.

• Heard an update from Cindy Myogeto and Mike O’Connell, who are organizing the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the city. This is the 40th year for the annual parade and this year a 5K run will be held the morning of parade day, Saturday, March 15.

• Heard an update from Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl. Dahl said drugs of choice are still methamphetamine and high-grade marijuana. Heroin is spreading north and Dahl expects it will eventually come to the county. He stressed that texting and driving is illegal and for drivers to keep their attention on the road. He also asked residents to keep their eyes peeled and be vigilant for suspicious activity.

• Heard an update on the planning and zoning ordinance changes. Comments have been compiled into a spreadsheet and changes have been made to the draft ordinance based on those comments. Comments and ordinance drafts are on the city’s website,

• Approved purchase of a new fire truck for $229,104. The council also approved a $2,000 charge to purchase the truck from a co-op, which offers lower prices. The city will sell two of its older vehicles for $53,000 to help with the purchase.

• Purchased new carpet for the council chambers and clerk’s office at city hall.

• Approved a contract with Kitchigami Regional Library Services. The agreement includes book delivery four days a week and $5,000 in funding to be used for materials.

• Heard the local board of equalization meeting will be at 10 a.m. Friday, April 11.