Herald JournalHerald Journal, June 20, 2005

Waverly Council deals with growing pains

By Liz Hellmann
Staff Writer

Like many other area towns, Waverly is a growing western suburb of the Twin Cities, but at Tuesday’s council meeting, the Waverly City Council dealt with some of the growing pains.

One problem for the city has been road clean-up in construction areas, particularly where new homes are being built.

“If you’ve been through the city, you can see I’m losing the battle,” building inspector Rob Beckfeld said.

According to the inspector’s reports, there have been some problems with contractors keeping the silt fences up around the properties they are working on, and keeping the streets debris-free.

Beckfeld said he even had to stop work on some houses until the areas were cleaned up.

The council noted there is difficulty in determining who is responsible for the mess. The developer could be at fault, or the lot could already be sold.

The council is taking action by sending a letter to the contractors, asking them to attend a special meeting June 20.

A committee of council members and Beckfeld will be present to discuss city ordinances, and the problems dealing with fences not in place, high weeds, and street debris.

Another issue surrounding the construction is replacing the grass in neighborhoods that were torn up.

The road along First Street was reconstructed to even out the residential lots along the road, and replace the gravel road with a paved one.

Gale Cenis is one concerned citizen who brought her complaint before the public.

“I was really looking forward to enjoying my yard this summer, but now it looks like that might not happen,” Cenis said.

City Engineer Barry Glienke explained that because of the weather, construction was slowed down.

However, Glienke expects more concrete to be put in next week, and in the next two to three weeks, the grass seed and sod will be installed.

Cenis also asked why some houses are getting grass seed, and others are being sodded.

The difference is the price, Glienke said.

There are about three acres to be restored. Seeding that area would cost $6,243, while laying sod in the same area would cost $46,890.

The sod is only being laid in newer areas, where there was sod already laid by the owners, which had to be taken back up.

The rest of the houses, including Cenis’, will be seeded.

“There are no assessments on any of these areas,” Glienke said.

Glienke also mentioned that these homes have all been improved with the construction.

Land annexed to Waverly

The council gave a verbal OK to annex land between Little Waverly Lake and Big Waverly Lake, at the expense of the owners.

John Wichmann and Ron VanRiper requested that the city annex their approximate one-and-a-half acre property along the lakeshore.

“We don’t really have a reason to refuse it,” Mayor Charlie Bush said.

The two owners plan to use the site for a couple of self-contained campers, with the possibility of eventually, building cabins.

Currently, township ordinance does not allow campers on the site, because they cannot meet setback requirements.

Wichmann and VanRiper now must go back to the township, with the approval of the city, to announce their plans to depart.

The land will be annexed to Waverly at the expense of the owners, who must pay for sewer hook-ups and a per-acre fee.

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