Waconia finds deal on pond cleaning
By waiting a couple of months, the city of Waconia will basically be able to get three ponds cleaned for the price of one. Pond cleaning was one of several topics covered by the Waconia City Council during its regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 1.
This summer, the city was looking to clean Sugarbush Pond as part of the 2012 Improvement Project. After learning that cleaning the pond would cost an estimated $105,000, the council decided to hold off on the project.
It was worth the wait, as the council was able to approve a project that will clean not one but three ponds at a cost of about $110,000. One reason the city was able to get this price was due to a $26,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The project will clean Sugarbush Pond along with storm water ponds in the Country Ponds and Pheasant Ridge developments. Widmer Construction will do the work, which is expected to be completed in County Ponds and Pheasant Ridge by Dec. 1. Sugarbush Pond will be cleaned in late December and January with a completion date of Feb. 1, 2013.
In addition to removing contaminants (such as oils from vehicles, sealant runoff from driveways, residue from pressure treated materials, organic materials, etc.), the cleanup will result in an increase in the volume of water in each of the ponds, as well.
Council members noted the expense of cleaning ponds and the city is looking at ways to stop the pollution before it becomes a problem, whether it is through banning the use of coal tar based sealers, which it has already done, or pre-emptive pond testing.
Other city ponds will likely need cleaning in the future. Ponds in Lakeview Terrace and between Burandt and CR 10 are among those that could be next in line.
Also during the meeting, the council approved two traditional revolving loan requests through the city’s Revolving Loan Program.
One of the loans is for KBDC Properties, LLC, which operates Lola’s Lakehouse and three other restaurants. KBDC Properties, LLC was granted a $50,000 loan to assist with renovations of a building located at 4 Main Street East in downtown Waconia. The building will be used for office and warehouse space. The other loan is for Hartman Communities, which received $78,110 to complete final paving work and curb and gutter installation on 8th and 10th streets in the Pine Business Park.
Both loans are for a term of 10 years at 5 percent interest. Both applicants met all criteria in applying for the loan.
In other matters:
• The council approved two annexation requests.
One is for a Waconia Township property located at 1050 Waconia Parkway South. The parcel is one acre in size and contains a single-family residence and accessory buildings. The reason for the annexation request was so the property owner could hook up to city sewer to alleviate a failing private sewage system.
The second request is related to the Interlaken Development 5th Addition. The parcel, which is currently located in Laketown Township, will feature 13 residential lots. On a related note, the council approved a developer’s agreement for the 5th Addition.
• As the county’s fiber optic project will be mostly completed by the end of the year, the council approved $34,800 in purchases to prepare the city’s network for switching to the fiber optic network. The switch will allow the city to save approximately $9,300 a year in internet/network related operating costs, meaning the upgrades will be paid for in less than four years. The switch will also provide the city with additional bandwidth, as well.
• The city will hold a public hearing regarding delinquent charges at city hall at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19. Property owners will be notified of the past due amounts for goods or services that have benefited the property and notified of the public hearing.
• The compost site will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on Oct. 6, 20 and 27.
• The council’s next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15.
Sept. 17 meeting
At the Waconia City Council meeting held on Sept. 17:
• The council discussed a citizen complaint regarding the parking ordinance. The citizen was unaware that a vehicle (boat, trailer, etc.) cannot be parked in front of a residence for more than 24 hours and asked the council to review the ordinance. After discussing the request, the council decided changing the ordinance was unnecessary but perhaps the city should make an effort to better publicize these types of ordinances.
• Parks and Recreation Director Craig Sinclair gave an update on Safari Island and the summer shutdown of the ice arena. Both facilities have recently undergone a number of improvements, from maintenance items to receiving touch up painting.
Sinclair noted that a starburst water feature in the recreational pool has a leaky pipe located under the pool itself. As fixing this would be quite expensive and involve ripping up the pool’s floor, the city is going to remove the starburst feature in 2013. In the future, the feature may be replaced with a small water slide or similar item.
• The council approved the purchase of an asphalt recycling combination hot box unit, a piece of equipment that will replace the city’s tack-oil trailer unit.
The city will purchase a Falcon asphalt recycling hot box combination unit from Mac Queen Equipment, Inc. in the amount of $50,268.12.
According to Public Service Director Craig Eldred, the new unit will be able to transfer asphalt material to select job sites; maintain optimum asphalt material temperatures to apply or complete asphalt patches; replace the existing tack tank and improve safety, optimal capacity, and allow application of tack materials; and recycle old asphalt and unused material into usable patching material.
It was noted that the asphalt recycling efforts over the life of the new unit would actually cover the purchase cost of the equipment, not to mention its safety and efficiency values.
• Molnau Trucking was awarded the city’s two-year Snow Removal Contract for 2012-14. Two bids were received for the contract and Molnau Trucking was the low bidder.