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Crosslake: Council tables discussion on rock dam repair project, talks city hall safety

The Crosslake City Council tabled discussion regarding the use of Big Pine Trail to haul materials for the Pine River Rock Dam repair project after hearing from the Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District and the city's public works...

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The Crosslake City Council tabled discussion regarding the use of Big Pine Trail to haul materials for the Pine River Rock Dam repair project after hearing from the Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District and the city's public works department Monday, April 9.

Beth Hippert, of the SWCD, asked the council to agree not to hold contractors liable for any road damage that could occur during the project under two conditions: Contractors will not exceed legal road limits and will provide weight tickets. The repair project includes a series of five rock weirs that will replace the failing rock dam structure.

"Over the years ... there's been problems with this dam," Hippert said of the project, citing the east bank specifically, which is constantly being eroded. "I estimate there's been almost $200,000 spent on repairs on the dam."

Public Works Director Ted Strand said Big Pine Trail is 19 years old, and the city hoped to get 20-25 years out of the road before having to repair it. When the road was designed, Strand said, it was never meant to hold up under the conditions of hauling as much heavy material that's required for the rock dam project.

"Personally, I do not see how we can run that kind of truck traffic down there and not have the road fall apart," he said, noting he is not against fixing the rock dam. "I just want everybody to understand that road will not be the same, in my opinion, when they're done."

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Council member Dave Nevin asked if the work could be done in the winter when the road is frozen to cause less damage. Strand and Hippert said it could.

City Administrator Mike Lyonais added that a small part of Big Pine Trail actually belongs to Mission Township, and he said he's unsure if Crosslake can make any decisions on behalf of the township.

Council members all agreed on the value of the rock dam project but decided they needed more information. Ultimately, the council directed Strand to look into the best possible time frame for the project and figure out what to do about the Mission Township portion of the road. The topic will be on the May council agenda.

Hippert said tabling the decision was fine, as the project is still contingent on funding from the Legislature.

Public safety

The council agreed to schedule a workshop within the next 30-45 days with police department, fire department, council members and administration to discuss safety and security updates to the city hall building.

The Crosslake Police Department responded to 140 incidents in March, including three crashes, two traffic arrests and one fire. Police assisted other agencies 16 times.

In Mission Township, police responded to 48 incidents in March, including two traffic citations and two traffic arrests.

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The Crosslake Fire Department responded to 20 calls in March, including 18 medical assists, one smoke scare/odor of smoke and one smoke detector activation with no fire.

In other business Monday, the council:

• Agreed to reduce the park dedication fee for the proposed 86-unit Whitefish Senior Living facility. Parks and Recreation Director Jon Henke recommended the city only charge dedication fees of $1,500 per independent living unit, which will be around 30. Henke said those in the memory care and assisted living units will likely have very little impact on the park.

• Heard from Crosslake Chamber Director Cindy Myogeto that this year's St. Patrick's Day parade was likely the largest tourism event in Crosslake's history. Myogeto said the parade committee has already met with public works, police and fire officials to discuss the safety and security of the event's future.

Lyonais said there were about 400 hours worth of work put in on parade day by public works and public safety officials and told the council it should take that into account when looking at next year's budget.

• Overturned a decision from March's council meeting that temporarily denied a right-of-way vacation request from residents Aaron and Shannon Patton. Council member Brad Nelson was not at the March meeting, so the measure to approve the vacation failed with a 2-2 vote.

Council member Gary Heacox brought the issue up under the "old business" Monday, and the council voted 3-2 to approve the vacation, with Mayor Patty Norgaard and council member Dave Schrupp opposed.

• Bought a tax-forfeited parcel of land on West Shore Drive and Dewdrop Lane for $100. Lyonais recommended the city buy the land for right of way purposes.

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The council reclassified two other tax-forfeited lots as non-conservation - one on Dewdrop Lake and one on Blacksmith Place - so they can be sold. The first parcel will only be sold to an adjacent land owner.

• Agreed to subdivide a lot on West Shore Drive, as recommended by the planning and zoning commission, and to collect cash in lieu of land for the subdivision.

• Amended the ordinance related to the vacation of city rights of way to no longer include the parks director to review and comment on vacation requests The current ordinance requires both the parks director and the public works director to review and comment on such requests.

• Heard from Crow Wing County Capt. Scott Goddard about Minnesota's Text-to-911 program, where those in emergency situations can text 911 rather than call if it's easier. Texters just need to put 911 in the "to" field and then text their location and type of emergency.

Related Topics: CROSSLAKECROSSLAKE CITY COUNCILCROW WING COUNTY
Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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