The Emily City Council once again heard the grievances of Tracy Jones, of Emily Meats, at its April 9 regular meeting, according to unapproved draft meeting minutes.
Jones alleges the Highway 6 reconstruction project had several negative impacts on Emily Meats, including damage to the company's compressors due to vibration from road equipment. Jones' complaint was forwarded to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, but the agency denies it ever received the claim. Jones is working with Anderson Brothers on the claim. He is also working with the state Ombudsman's Office as an intermediary between business owners and MnDOT.
Other complaints include: the construction resulted in flooding in the business; additional bollards were placed at Emily Meats, making parking difficult along with eliminating parking near the business on Highway 6; sightline and safety issues on the Highway 6-County Road 1 intersection; and reduction of the size of Emily Meats' parking lot.
Jones also complained that the city was not clearing sidewalks and no walkways had been developed between the city parking lot and the city sidewalk, and he cited the lack of a pedestrian crosswalk sign and paving in the east alley.
Council member Dan Barrett, owner of the Log Cabin Bar, agreed with Jones' issues. He explained that removal of culverts during the construction project resulted in flooding at several businesses, including the Log Cabin Bar and Emily Cooperative Telephone Company. Barrett restated several of Jones' complaints as well.
In other business, the Emily City Council:
• Decided to send a letter to Ben Wikstrom requiring the completion of a downtown development plan by July 1. Wikstrom was paid $5,880 in 2015 to develop the plan, but no plan has been received yet.
• Met with representatives of Enbridge on the Line 3 replacement project.
• Discussed road maintenance planning. Some city roads are more than 15 years old.
• Approved an agreement document for repairs to the Emily Dam Bridge for $35,431.
• Agreed to research a Birchwood Drive conditional use deed and pursue reacquiring the property for a turnaround.
• Approved purchase of calcium chloride for $12,600.
• Adopted a resolution revising the 2019 budget.
• Approved a rental dwelling inspection checklist.
• Agreed to purchase and install additional signage in the recycling area and requested a quote for installation of a camera in the same area to deter people from dropping recycling materials into the bins with plastic bags, as the city has been regularly charged recycling contamination charges.
• Learned Crow Wing County will hold a public hearing at 9:10 a.m. May 14 regarding the city's denial of a county request to reclassify three parcels of non-conservation for future sale due to the parcels being landlocked. The city has a policy disallowing creation of land-locked parcels. The mayor and two council members will attend.
• Approved reclassification of parcels to the county that are not land-locked.
• Approved a small wireless facility design guideline policy.
• Approved a sanitary sewer maintenance contract for two years, including an increase in contractor compensation to $1,287 contingent on the city receiving proof of insurance.