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Crosslake: Council puts moratorium on sewer connections, temporarily closes dumpsite

A moratorium on sewer connections, temporary closure of a city dump site and a new comprehensive plan were among issues acted upon at the Crosslake City Council's Monday, May 14, meeting.

Sewer connections

In March, the council allowed Moonlite Bay Family Restaurant to hook up to the city's sewer system even though the restaurant is outside the sewer district. Public Works Director Ted Strand said the hook-up is essentially a private system pumping into the municipal system. But on Monday, Strand said he wanted to revisit the issue.

"The county engineer felt that the liability should be more in the city's court," Strand said of the previous decision. "Before we go any further forward and we react to somebody else coming in, I think we need to step back and take a hard look at where we're going with it. ... Let's do this smartly and the most cost-effective way we can."

At Strand's suggestion, the council put a moratorium on sewer connections outside the city's sewer district. The moratorium applies to applications submitted after 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 14, which means the council's March decision on Moonlite Bay's system will stand.

City dump site

Strand told the council the dump site at the city maintenance facility has "gotten out of control" with non-residents and commercial haulers dumping loads of debris and other waste there, despite signs prohibiting such actions. After discussing only opening the facility certain times during the year, council members agreed to close the site this week "until further notice." In the meantime, Strand will work on a plan for when to have the site open and how to monitor who uses it.

Comprehensive plan

The council adopted a newly updated version of the city's comprehensive plan, which took more than a year to complete.

The plan includes three goals for economic vitality in the city: capitalize on Crosslake's economic drivers to promote the community, spur economic growth and serve community members; encourage economic growth while maintaining Crosslake's character through environmental preservation and conservation; and consider the financial impacts of decisions regarding community growth and development.

The city's comp plan was previously updated in 2008.

Public safety

The Crosslake Police Department responded to 165 incidents in April, including two crashes, two thefts, two traffic arrests and one burglary. Police assisted other agencies 16 times.

In Mission Township, police responded to 50 incidents, including six traffic citations and two fires.

The Crosslake Fire Department responded to 32 incidents in April, including one building fire.

The council agreed to buy a 2002 Ford F450 utility body fire truck for the fire department for $11,250. Fire Chief Chip Lohmiller said $10,000 was budgeted for the truck, but the Fire Relief Association will provide the remaining $1,250.

The council also allowed Lohmiller to declare the department's 2004 Ford F250 grass truck as surplus so he can put it up for sale.

In other business Monday, the council:

• Approved 4-1 up to $5,000 for the installation of six hanging flower planters on both the Daggett bridge and the dam bridge. Crosslake business owner and Crosslaker group member Pat Netko explained the project's details and how the planters would be bracketed to the bridges. Crow Wing County Engineer Tim Bray said this project does not harm the structural integrity of either bridge. City Administrator Mike Lyonais said the money could come from the reallocation of storm damage funds. Council member Brad Nelson was opposed.

• Scheduled two special council workshops. They are: 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 21, to discuss the city's acquisition of 9.1 acres of land near the Crosslake Community Center, some of which could possibly be used for a dog park; and 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 29, to discuss safety upgrades for city hall.

• Agreed not to hold contractors liable for any road damages that occur while hauling materials on Big Pine Trail for the Pine River Rock Dam repair project. The council tabled this decision in April, but Strand said the city couldn't deny use of the road as long as weight restrictions are met. Strand suggested work be done in the winter when the road is frozen and will incur less damage.

• Approved three public works contract change orders recommended by Strand. Two orders deal with the Manhattan Point Boulevard road project and allow for the construction of a storm sewer control structure and pipe beneath the road, and for a retaining wall that will minimize tree and vegetation screening. The third change order will allow for a three-cable guardrail to be constructed on the south side of Dream Island Bridge.

• Approved an on-sale wine license for Rafferty's Pizza, with authorization to sell strong beer. This is in addition to Rafferty's 3.2 beer license.

• Added Thomas Miller as 40 percent owner of Andy's Bar and Grill to maintain the validity of the restaurant's liquor license.

• Adopted the Crow Wing County all-hazard mitigation plan.

• Approved a $100 special event fee for groups who want to hold large events at the community center.