Assistant city administrator to leave Waconia

In a couple of weeks, the city of Waconia will be saying goodbye to Shane Fineran, who has served as the assistant city administrator since May 2009. Fineran was recently selected as the new city administrator for the city of Watertown so he offered his voluntary resignation, effective May 2, to the Waconia City Council, which approved the request during its regular meeting held on Monday, April 7.
Fineran started his career with the city of Waconia as a Management Analyst. He was later promoted to assistant city administrator. According to City Administrator Susan Arntz, Fineran “has been an instrumental part in the organization’s development and has contributed to a number of key projects.”
Fineran described his five years of working for the city of Waconia as “an incredible experience.”
“The hardest part about leaving here is saying goodbye to the tremendous staff who take pride in the work they do for the residents of Waconia,” he said. “I am grateful to the residents, business owners, and city council members I have gotten to know and work with over the years and truly appreciate the opportunity to work for this wonderful community. I am excited about the new professional challenges ahead of me in Watertown, and look forward to working the community on the exciting projects they have in front of them.”
The city has begun the recruiting process to find Fineran’s replacement. According to Arntz, the goal is to fill the position by mid-summer. In the meantime, Fineran’s duties will be handled by Arntz and other city staff.
Also during the meeting, the council awarded a contract in the amount of $2,058,053.60 to Chard Tiling & Excavating for the 2014 Infrastructure Project, which is expected to begin sometime this spring. The bid was the lowest of three bids received by the city and the contract covers construction costs only; soft costs (engineering and contingency costs, etc.) will add approximately $500,000 to the total final cost of the project.
The project includes the reconstruction of portions of West First Street, Maple Street, Cedar Street, including sanitary sewer, water main, and storm systems within the entire road right-of-way; final asphalt wearing coarse of Interlaken 4th addition; construction of bituminous trail connection on Main Street near Old Beach Lane; work on the Burandt Lake storm water re-use system; park improvements at Interlaken and Clearwater Mills; and work on the concrete apron in front of the Waconia Fire Station.
The contract was approved on a 4-1 vote (Councilor Marc Carrier voted against the motion).
On a related note, the council held a discussion on how to finance the project, although nothing was voted on or approved regarding this aspect of the project. At this point, the project will likely be funded through a combination of bonds, assessments, PIR and Park Dedication cash, grant money, and Storm Water Funds.
To learn more about the process associated with funding street reconstruction projects, refer to the Guest Editorial submitted by the Waconia City Council on Page 4.
In other matters:
• The council approved requests regarding the use of city streets for two upcoming events.
The first is the 9th annual Walk on Waconia event, which starts and ends at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Waconia on Saturday, April 26. The event is a fundraiser for the Waconia United Food Shelf. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. at St. Joe’s with the 10-mile run and 10-mile walk starting at 8 a.m. At this time, the 10K run and walk also begins (participants are bused to the north side of the lake and head back to St. Joe’s).
The second is the 16th annual Lake Waconia Band Festival, which will be held on Saturday, June 21. Staging of the bands starts at 4 p.m. with the parade beginning at 6 p.m. The parade lasts about two and a half hours and is one mile in length. There is no change in the parade route for this year.
• Fire Chief Mark Morse provided a brief update during Staff Reports. According to Morse, the Waconia Fire Department has responded to 112 emergencies this year, which is five more calls than last year at this time.
Morse noted that the department has 30 firefighters on its current roster but it can have up to 37. Two individuals are in the process of joining the department and two others have expressed interest. Morse said the department could use some firefighters who are available during the daytime hours. To learn more, contact 442-2316.
The upcoming infrastructure project will affect the fire station and as a result, the department is creating a plan to utilize other city structures to house various apparatuses during the work. The department will study how the different locations affect the department’s response time, etc., during the situation.
Morse also touched on the use of the department’s new command vehicle, which has helped reduce response time and aids the department in determining how to best approach an incident.
• All residents are invited to attend an open house that will focus on various 2014-15 Waconia area road construction projects, including work on the Highway 5 corridor. The open house will be held at city hall from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 1.
• Drop off your unused or unwanted prescription medication or illegal drugs (no questions asked) during a Drug Take Back event sponsored by the Carver County Sheriff’s Office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 26. The drugs will be taken to a secure place to be destroyed.
• The council approved a request from Security Bank to reimburse the bank a total of $13,991.01 in Special Assessments and Charges levied on four parcels located on Cherry Drive. Doing so will allow the properties to avoid entering the tax forfeiture process and potentially get the properties back on the tax rolls.
Mayor Jim Nash stressed that the funds are tied to a delinquent account and are basically late fees and interest charges, as opposed to actual tax dollars that have already been spent by the city on infrastructure, etc.
• The council called for a public hearing to be held during the May 5 meeting regarding a request by Waconia Square, LLC for a municipal subsidy in the form of tax abatement in the amount of $54,600. The funds would be used to improve the building to accommodate the inclusion of Waconia Brewing Company.
• The council’s next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 21.

Contact Todd Moen at todd.moen@ecm-inc.com

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