Trista council approves street lighting request

By Blaze Fugina Community Editor

At the June 4 Minnetrista City Council Meeting, a resolution was passed to place a street light on an existing power pole at the intersection of Highland Road and Halstead Avenue.

The council reviewed two requests for streetlights in Minnetrista, but they authorized placing a second light on Wildwood Avenue near Highland Road only if the property owners are willing to pay monthly electric costs.

During the meeting, City Engineer Mark Erichson explained the reasoning behind placing the streetlight at the corner of Highland Road and Halstead Avenue.

"That one there has really a long history of concerns with the regard to safety," he said about the corner. "Over the years a number of accidents have occurred in that location. The worst being a car actually missing the turn and continuing on and crashing into the home."

Other accidents have occurred at the location, Erichson explained, which led to the damage of signs, telephone pedestals and mailboxes. The request for the lighting came from a neighbor who lives near the intersection.

Erichson also explained the second requested street light, which was requested for a different reason. Residents expressed concern of suspicious activity at the intersection, and said they expect that to increase when the Highland Road construction will make it a dead end road.

"Evidently, on the corner there where there is a hairpin turn… there is occasionally suspicious activity taking place there along the park in the evenings," he said. "They are concerned that, with that becoming a dead end, that is going to be increased."

The city staff recommended to the council that residents be charged the cost of electricity at the Wildwood Avenue location. Erichson said this is because the request is more consistent with neighborhood lighting, where residents pay for their own lighting.

"It’s not a safety concern in regard to vehicular movement where they are going to crash if it is not lit properly," he said. "That would cost about $10 per month."

The council approved this 4-0, with Council Member George Zenanko absent from the meeting.

Lot line adjustment

The city council also voted 4-0 to approve a lot line adjustment for two lots located between Woodedge Road and County Road 15.

According to the council packet, the request is to move the lot line in between 6501 County Road 15 and 6650 Woodedge Road approximately two acres. The request is from Fred and Leah Ridler, who are hoping to buy the properties to live and relocate their business Abel Onsite Heating and Air Conditioning. The business is currently located in St. Bonifacius.

Richard and Carol Morrison have owned the property since 1971, and they currently operate Westonka Plumbing and Heating on the site.

The city council agreed with the staff recommendation by approving the resolution.

Senior Planner

The city council approved a resolution for current Assistant City Planner David Abel to formally become the senior planner for Minnetrista.

Breanne Rothstein, who is currently on medical leave for 12 weeks as a new mother, left the senior planner position open. She requested to come back on a part time basis after the leave.

City Administrator Mike Funk said that Abel’s time as the assistant planner prepared him for the senior planner position.

"Mr. Abel, in his role as assistant planner, has demonstrated the skills and abilities to succeed as our senior planner," said Funk.

Abel had worked as the assistant planner for Minnetrista since November of 2008.

July 2 meeting

Due to the Fourth of July holiday, the Minnetrista City Council elected to cancel the July 2 regular city council meeting.