Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Oct. 18, 1999

New development sought with EDA

By Andrea Vargo

The Waverly City Council voted to establish an economic development authority (EDA), Tuesday, to help businesses locate in the community.

It was determined that Waverly has 8 percent commercial property, but this figure should be 30-40 percent for a community this size.

The EDA would help attract new businesses and help keep existing businesses. It would also keep track of land that is available for development.

The council voted to create the EDA with five voting members: Ken Hausladen, Angela Lachermeier, Dan Graham II, Jim Vrcota, and Cathy Thisius (planning and zoning representative). One council member will sit on the EDA as a non-voting member. Council memberswill rotate the position.

Downtown lights

Waverly will pay $36,400 for street lights in the downtown area, if it follows the recommendation of John Hygrell of Northern States Power (NSP).

The council wasn't sure it wanted to invest that much money at this time in new lighting.

If it did, Hygrell said the city could subscribe to a 25-year maintenance program with NSP.

This would cost about $6.45 per month, and includes all maintenance and replacement in case of damage, he said.

Hygrell figured the city would need 10 lights with about 100 feet between the poles.

"We could do a photometric layout and maybe cut down on the number of fixtures," he said.

About eight to 10 weeks lead time is needed for materials. If the city decided to do the project, it could be scheduled for spring of the year 2000, said Hygrell.

Cable television

City Attorney Tim Young told the council it needed to meet face to face with a representative of Paragon Cable, now Time Warner.

Young felt that was the only way for the franchise contract negotiations to be concluded quickly.

He pointed out several problematical paragraphs in the contract the company offered to Waverly.

Two of those require the city to waive permit fees and other normal operating expenses for the cable company and take some of those operating expenses out of the franchise fees the city would receive.

It would be a long time before the city saw any franchise fees, said Young.

A third area is "particularly burdensome, legally," said Young.

Cities don't usually indemnify or compensate a vendor for loss, Young stated.

Businesses usually take their own business risks; the city government doesn't take those risks, he said.

Mayor Charles Bush said, "I don't think the city should subsidize private enterprise."

That would be the case, if the city signed this particular version of the Time Warner contract.

Council members said they will meet with a Time Warner representative and make the city's position clear.

Property purchase

Council members could not decide whether or not to purchase two parcels of land from the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company for a park-and- ride lot

The problem was not the cost, but the possibility of pollution on the properties.

Cost for the two parcels would be about $31,000, but this could run into a lot more if the city has to clean up any type of environmental problem.

No one was certain if a parking lot could be placed over a pollution problem, if the soil were not dug up.

Therefore, City Clerk Deb Ryks will do some more investigation, while the city goes ahead with plans to purchase the properties from the railroad.

The city will request permission from the railroad to do a phase one environmental study. The hope is that all the steps for the environmental study and the purchase can be complete before Mn/DOT's end-of-October deadline.

Liquor store

The municipal liquor store has deposited another $10,000 in the city's general fund.

This brings the year-to-date total to $40,000, which is ahead of last year's deposits, said Mayor Charlie Bush.

Regarding the Highway 12 improvement project, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) has offered the liquor store $56,000 for loss of property and six parking spaces when it takes land for the highway expansion.

The city would have to purchase an adjacent lot for $15,000 to make room for delivery trucks, Bush said.

That needs to be taken into consideration when the city makes a counter offer to Mn/DOT, said Bush.

Other business

- The burning ban is lifted from Oct. 13 to Nov. 30. Residents must get a burning permit before burning leaves, etc.

- A Wright County deputy told the council the city has been quiet, recently. The parks have had no problems, he said.

But, Councilwoman Pam Henry-Neaton mentioned that semi tractors are still parking on Highway 12 and blocking sight lines for traffic at the intersection of Highway 12 and Wright County Rd. 8.

The deputy said that would be watched more closely.

- The city's new payloader has been experiencing consistent power drains on its battery that remain unexplained by the company's technical support person.

- A third phone line will be placed in the city offices to accommodate the internet and the fax machine. This change will now allow voice mail to be activated on the first two lines.

- The WAVE committee had no report. It seems that unless someone steps forward to take the helm, the group may have to disband. According to members, no one shows up for meetings.

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