Mayer, LHS reach deal on roundabout

By Emily Hedges

The city of Mayer and Mayer Lutheran High School (LHS) agreed to payment terms on the proposed roundabout at Co. Rd. 92 and 62nd Street. The project will give the school much-needed access to its campus and provide an important future component to the city’s transportation plan.
The city originally proposed a two-thirds split of project costs given that the project timeline is driven by the school’s needs. The city hoped its offer to finance the project instead of bonding for it might sweeten the deal, saving an estimated $38,000 off the top.
Before interest and financing savings, the estimated costs would be $168,000 for the city and $343,000 for Mayer Lutheran High School. MnDOT will contribute $391,000 in grant money.
During the March 25 regular meeting, the council heard a counter-offer from Joel Landskroener, Executive Director at LHS. The school’s Board of Directors authorized him to offer to pay 60 percent, with an interest rate on financing at two percent instead of the proposed 2.4 percent, citing the current 10-year Treasury Bond yield of 1.91 percent.
According to Landskroener, the offer is based on the city’s assessment policy, which has a precedence of assessing up to 30 percent of project costs to adjacent property owners. Since LHS is the only property, they suggest assessing as though they are the adjacent property on both sides of the street.
“I don’t mind giving them one or the other. It’s still a good partnership,” said Councilor Tice Stieve-McPadden.
The council voted to allow the school to pay 60 percent instead of one-third (66 percent), but kept the interest rate at 2.4 percent, which means an estimated additional $7,000 to LHS over 10 years. The LHS Board of Directors accepted these terms.

No park bathrooms for now
McPadden expected the vote to be which of the three bids to accept for construction of new restrooms in Old Schoolhouse Park. Instead, members (less Erik Boder who was absent) discussed whether to spend the estimated $55,000 at all. In a final vote, the Park Board recommendation failed with a tie vote of 2 to 2 (McPadden and Mayor Mike Dodge voting yes and councilors Daniel Lueth and Bruce Osborn voting no.)
In obvious frustration, McPadden reiterated that the expense is in the park’s capital improvement plan and that the money is budgeted and available.
“We are trying to advance the parks,” McPadden said. “All you need to do is drive past that park in the summer. It gets used practically every night.”
Lueth and Osborn were unsatisfied with the lack of specifics on the project. Osborn voiced concerns about some of the construction elements, while Lueth wanted to nail down operational details.
They decided to revisit the subject at the April 8 council meeting.
In other business, the Council:
• Approved spending $824 on 15 banners for downtown Mayer. The banners will feature the American flag and the words, “Welcome to Mayer.”
• Approved a baseball field maintenance plan that will be agreed to by all teams that use the city’s fields.
• Selected Wayzata Timing Results to assist in managing the inaugural Train for the Trail 5K, the culmination of the city-wide Train for the Trail program running from April 4-May 23.