Growth continues in the Village at Cologne

Paving the way for ongoing development in the Village At Cologne neighborhood was the main item of business for the Cologne City Council on Monday, Oct. 1.

Council members reviewed plans and approved final plats for four new single-family lots and yet another expansion of the Cologne Academy charter school.

As for the homes, two of the lots are located on Silver Leaf Trail and two are on Naples Avenue. Site grading, streets and utilities have been previously installed at the lots.

The next addition to the Cologne Academy will be 10,080 square feet in size and include space for nine new classrooms, two restrooms and a utility closet. It will connect to the south side of the existing school structure and provide room for at least 50 additional students at the school.

Conservative projections show the school at 385 students this year, 414 the following year, 466 in 2014-15 and 516 students in 2015-16.

Original plans were to put footings in the ground this fall and construct the new addition next spring and summer, but the placement of the footings has been pushed back to next spring. The addition, which is the fourth of five planned phases, is still expected to be complete for the start of school next fall.

In other business, the council:
• Learned from City Administrator John Douville that the intersection project at Highway 212 and Highway 284/County Road 53 is about a week behind schedule. No reason for the delay was known at the meeting, and a request to MnDOT for more information had not been answered when this edition of the paper went to press.

An RCUT intersection is being constructed in an effort to reduce right-angle crashes at the intersection, which resulted in two fatalities last year.

• Reviewed updated job descriptions for city staff and discussed options for running the city’s wastewater treatment plant after the resignation of the city’s public utilities supervisor, who will continue to fulfill the requirements that the city have a licensed operator at the plant until the end of October.

There are contractors who are able to provide personnel, but the city is advertising for both a public utilities employee with the proper licensing and a public works position in case no qualified utility candidates are found.

The city will continue to analyze the most cost effective solution and make a decision at a future meeting.

In the meantime, the council approved the hiring of Randy Sorenson of Waconia for temporary fall seasonal help at $18 per hour. Sorensen will be working 30-50 hours per month through November to help cover many seasonal tasks such as hydrant flushing, street sweeping, park closures and more.

Mayor Bernie Shambour Jr. said he has met Sorenson in the past and said he was a good fit for the city because of his public works knowledge.

• Approved the annexation of 1.54 acres of land owned by Al Boehnig. The property is currently used for agriculture and annexation was requested to facilitate extension of Cologne city services for commercial development of the property.