Waconia City Council considers water bill adjustment

10thStreetProject3417-CMYKA light agenda resulted in a quick meeting for the Waconia City Council on Monday, Oct. 7.
The first item of discussion centered on a request for the council to reconsider charges on a Pond Circle resident’s September water bill. Due to a leak in an irrigation system, approximately 206,000 gallons of water passed through the system and the citizen’s monthly water bill came to $1,116.08. The leak has since been repaired. The citizen was hoping to negotiate a lower payment and offered to pay $450 instead of the full amount.
The citizen explained that the leak was not immediately discovered because it occurred below a retaining wall that cannot be seen from the house. In addition, the citizen had not been out in the yard much so he didn’t notice the effect the leak was having on the lawn and because he doesn’t often spend time in his basement, he didn’t notice any unusual with the water meter. The citizen admitted that it was an embarrassing situation but he was hopeful that the council might consider the circumstances and agree to lower the bill.
The council, which was without Mayor Jim Nash and Councilor Lynn Ayers, ultimately was not willing to adjust the amount of the bill but the council members felt it was reasonable to allow the citizen to work with city staff in order to set up a payment plan to pay the bill over time.
Also during the meeting, the council approved a minor subdivision at 641 and 741 Marketplace Drive. The subdivision involves 2,178 square feet of property and will give HomeTown Bank, which is currently developing the old Snyder’s property, the additional space it needs to include a bypass lane on the west side of its property.
In other matters:
• During staff reports, Public Services Director Craig Eldred gave a brief update on the 10th Street / Highway 284 roundabout project. He reported that outside of a slight delay involving the relocation of utility poles, the project appeared to be on schedule and tentatively could be finished the week of Nov. 11.
Assistant City Administrator Shane Fineran reported that the city’s new WiFi system was operational at city hall, the ice arena and the Public Services building. Anyone — staff, citizens or groups — who are at those facilities will have access to WiFi (the password will be available in a prominent place at each location). WiFi will be added to the fire station next year.
Fire Chief Mark Morse briefly talked about the department’s fall breakfast that occurred on Oct. 6 (event was detailed in last week’s Waconia Patriot). He noted that the breakfast usually attracts about 1,100 to 1,300 attendees but only about 750 to 800 people showed up this year. He attributed the lower attendance to the cool, wet weather that occurred that morning.
Morse also touched on activities that were planned at the fire station during National Fire Prevention Week, which included numerous presentations, demonstrations and site tours. He thanked Asst. Chief Randy Sorensen and the other firefighters that donated their time to help with the activities during the week.
Morse noted that the department has responded to 265 emergencies this year, which is 12 ahead of 2012 at this time. He was asked if a detour on Highway 7 had created additional emergency responses for Waconia given the higher volume of traffic the detour has created at the intersection of CSAHs 30/92 and Highway 5. Morse noted there has been a noticeable rise in traffic at the intersection and while some property damages incidents (fender benders, etc.) have occurred, there has been no rise in personal injury calls to the intersection.
• The council awarded the Ravenwood Swale Improvement Project to Schneider Excavating & Grading in the amount of $70,190. The project includes storm pipe extension, a series of gabion plunge pools, slope stabilization, and turf restoration to reduce sediment transfer from the swale (a low-lying or depressed and often wet stretch of land) to improve downstream water quality issues.  Officials were pleased to learn that the bid came in 29 percent below the engineered estimate. The project will start in November and should be completed before the end of the year.
• As a result of width changes on Cedar Street between Lake and Main streets, the city is installing “No Parking This Side Of Street” signs within the east right-of-way of Cedar Street. By doing so, two-way traffic will be able to occur on that portion of Cedar Street.
• The city’s compost site (Public Services, 310 E 10th Street) will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 and from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23. Items collected include grass clippings, leaves, garden material and brush or tree branches no larger than 3 inches in diameter or 4 feet in length. The cost to drop items off is $1 per bag or $10 per trailer / pickup bed.
• Winter parking begins Friday, Nov. 1. The regulations prohibit parking on residential streets from midnight to 8 a.m. November through March.
• The council’s next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21.

Contact Todd Moen at [email protected]

  • Love

    City council at its finest, not helping a resident out with his water bill and the city charging for compost. Most towns don’t charge a fee for compost. Waconia is a greedy town.