Plat step OK'd in club deal
The Two Harbors City Council approved the final plat for the Two Harbors Curling Club and golf course clubhouse property. It's the latest step in the city turning over the building and operations to the club.
Earlier in March the city agreed to transfer ownership of the curling club building in exchange for the club taking responsibility for the building's maintenance, repairs, and upkeep.
The city will pay a $1,200 annual lease for the clubhouse portion of the building with the club operating it.
The curling club agreed to keep the clubhouse open if the Lakeview national Golf Course were ever sold by the city. After a 10-year lease expires, the curling club could renegotiate a deal.
The club will likely need to apply for a full liquor license since it will open year-round. It is still awaiting word on expected tax abatements, excluding school taxes.
The curling club once owned the property but turned it over to the city when upkeep became a financial burden.
In a public hearing last week, only one person spoke with the city's planning commission on the plat approval. Craig Guzzo owns the former VFW just to the east of the curling club building.
Guzzo said he would like to open a bar and restaurant at the site, when the economy allows. He indicated to the commission that he wanted to make sure the golf course operation was successful in order to lure as many customers to his planned venture as possible.
The Two Harbors City Council has put together a quarterly newsletter that will come in the mail in an effort to better explain decisions being made at city hall.
"[It's] an affective formula of educating people in the community," Mayor Randy Bolen said.
The cost of the newsletter was not known at the council meeting Monday, but Bolen was not anticipating it to be expensive. The money will come from enterprise fund, created from charges for city services.
Council member Seth McDonald said there was a "perception problem" for the city and that the newsletter idea has been on the mayor's agenda for a few months.
Bolen said he will also conduct a "Community Night" once a month for residents and businesses to have an opportunity to meet with the mayor, council members, and city staff. Meetings are scheduled from 4:30-7 p.m. the first Thursday of the month in council chambers at city hall. The first meeting will be next Thursday.
Bolen said the city is also working on updating its website and, in the near future, update the site every day. There are plans to have meeting times posted quickly, especially if there is a special meeting planned. He said the city also plans to use the cable public access TV channel more and stream council meetings online.
Discussions continued on a Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Minnesota Department of Transportation grant funded project to limit access to Highway 61 and divert turns to businesses to the controlled intersection at Highway 26 near McDonald's. The plan would be to close some accesses and create a full intersection at the stoplight with a road going south next to Sonju's.
The impetus is to provide safer access to North Shore Manufacturing and other businesses. North Shore Manufacturing plans to add 50 jobs in the next five years. Total project cost is $1.7 million. DEED would fund $1 million for the project while the other $700,000 would come mostly from grants and the county with the city kicking in between $5,000 and $10,000.
Meetings have taken place with Sonju's representatives and a homeowner affected by the plan. The homeowner has said they would be interested in moving. More meetings on the project are expected to take place soon.
The first reading of three for a new water meter ordinance took place Monday.
Residents would be given the meters from the city and residents would be in charge of installing the meters themselves. It has been recommended they use a plumber, but they don't have to. Once it's installed, the meter is inspected.
Council member Steve Detlefsen said once meters are installed, they won't be online for a year or more so a study can be done. He said residents should not be concerned about the meters.
The city has said it is following state water conservation rules that need to be implemented by 2013. It wants to better gauge where water use is happening in its system. Detlefsen said metering will likely lead to less water being used, meaning the cost to process water will be less and charges will stabilize.
"Rates should not jump through the roof," Detlefsen said.
The Public Affairs Committee will meet at 3:30 p.m. Monday at city hall to discuss parking ordinance changes.
At previous meetings, council members discussed establishing commercial areas where people can park on both sides of the street, having daily calendar parking (odd days park on odd number side and vice-versa), having a sign when people come into town about how parking works, and no boulevard parking unless you live in certain areas of the city where there is no other option.
There will be a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at city hall about a proposed in-city deer hunt or eradication as a way to control a growing population within city limits.