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Pine River: Council approves purchase, bond

During a special meeting Friday, May 1, the Pine River City Council approved a bonding project, as well as a bid for street repair and purchase of property, according to a summary by City Clerk Wanda Mongan.

During a special meeting Friday, May 1, the Pine River City Council approved a bonding project, as well as a bid for street repair and purchase of property, according to a summary by City Clerk Wanda Mongan.

The property is owned by CEPCO Management, Inc., owners of the Pine River Square Apartments, for storm water runoff and three sections of street reconstruction in the city, pending an easement from a property owner.

The council met at the end of a public comment period for a proposed bonding issue. Citizens had 30 days to respond to a proposal to use bonds (loans) to pay for repair to city streets. If the council received a legally valid petition with at least 14 signatures from voters registered in the last election, the bond use would be defeated.

A petition was received with 44 signatures; however, it was invalid. Mongan said the city submitted the petition to the independent law firm of Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith and Frederick for review. The petition was found to be invalid for various reasons, including the lack of addresses to prove residency for some signatories, some signatories used nicknames instead of the name they used to register as a voter, some signatories were not registered voters in the last election, and the petition itself was not formatted according to Minnesota Secretary of State guidelines.

The petition read only "Put it to a vote petition. Petition to cut bond funding vote April 28th 29th" with the 44 votes.

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The bond was approved, the bid for street repair was awarded to Tri-City Paving of Little Falls at $893,285.51, and the purchases were approved.

Cass County will pay part of the cost of street repair with municipal state aid funds. The city will pay the remainder.

The bonds, in an amount of $614,000, would be paid for in five years. The city has already budgeted for this bond by increasing taxes in 2014 to make payments. Furthermore, that budgeted amount is intended to pay for five more street projects in the next 30 years (one every five years), which would result in all Pine River streets (as well as utilities and sidewalks) being repaired during that time.

Mongan said one petitioner attended the special meeting. During the meeting, Mongan reminded that petitioner that recent tax increases to city residents were also due to other government entities, including the school district, which increased the local optional revenue during the past funding cycle, and Cass County, which increased valuations on all of the city's riverfront properties.

Related Topics: PINE RIVER
Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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