Howard Lake Herald, February 9, 1998

Land purchase cost for park-and-ride lot disclosed

BY ANDREA VARGO

HOWARD LAKE -Howard Lake City Council members discussed the land purchase options for the park and ride lot Tuesday.

Land for the park and ride lot will cost $7,500 for the 6,000 square feet of land owned by Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company, according to Bruce Opp, Regional Sales Manager for Catellus Management Corporation, agent for the railroad.

In response to a request by the council, City Engineer Brad DeWolf asked Opp for a quote on the land behind the city hall as a possible addition to the park and ride lot.

The total price given for the original parcel, plus the piece behind the city hall, was $17,500.

This last option would encroach inside the Broll Fertilizer lease site, said Opp, and the railroad would not sell it unless a release was signed by Broll Fertilizer.

Opp understood Broll Fertilizer was planning to expand to the west of its current site, but that has not occurred.

If this is true, Opp said it might not be possible to get a release signed for that site.

The business owners on the north side of Hwy. 12 who are involved in the purchase of the land from the railroad will be approached with the both purchase options.

Fence for the park

Gilberto and Judy Torres, owners of Vista del Lago Resort on Howard Lake have offered to help beautify the city by sharing costs to construct a new fence between their resort and Memorial Park.

Councilman Shelley Reddemann and Maintenance Supervisor Tom Goepfert will work with the Torres on the style and costs of the fence and report to the council.

Liquor store report

Liquor store manager Ruth Voight reported a profit of $10,280.87 for the month of January.

Voight said, "Those two girls you gave me to work with, Laurie Rein and Kristi Everett, are really terrific. They really care about the place."

She said if it hadn't been for them, there were a few days where she might have called it quits.

Incidents of fighting and other behavior problems seem to be decreasing, she said.

The council members said they remain firm on their policy for ejecting unruly customers.

The restrictions for the offender from the liquor store are: 90 days for the first offense, 120 days for the second offense, and banned for life on the third offense.

Highway 12 crosswalk

Pat Van Oss asked the council to paint the crosswalk on Hwy. 12 and 8th Ave., offering to furnish paint and sprayer.

That can't be done at this time, said Borglund, because Tom Woods, Mn/DOT maintenance manager, said he would take care of it when Mn/DOT gets a new piece of painting equipment.

There is some discrepancy as to whose responsibility it is, said Van Oss. Mn/Dot has been giving mixed messages, and it needs to be made clear.

The Herald contacted Mike Travis, public relations for Mn/Dot, who said the city is responsible for the crosswalk maintenance once it is installed and painted.

The rules have changed, he said. Mn/DOT used to take care of it. But now it is Howard Lake's responsibility, even though it is a trunk highway.

Because this is a transition period, he said, Mn/DOT will do it one more time so the city maintenance employees can make a template for future use.

Other business

- A contribution of $500 was approved to the Central Minnesota Initiative Fund.

- A letter of appreciation was sent to John Deitering for the improvements to the exterior of Cartmakers. New brick and windows have been installed.

- As an informational item, Mayor Mark Custer said he has been asked by many citizens if Howard Lake could have financial problems like the City of Cambridge. He said, based on an estimated population of 1,800, each person's share of the debt load is $467.57.

DeWolf said, "That is the lowest I have heard (by quite a bit)."


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