Page, Ewald petition City of Dassel for street construction

May 12, 2008

By Roz Kohls,
Staff Writer

Howard Page and Roz Ewald of Cedar Crest in Hutchinson have petitioned the City of Dassel to construct a street in the northwest corner of the intersection of Trunk Highway 15 and Highway 12.

City Administrator Myles McGrath cautioned the city council last Monday to treat all developers in Dassel the same way to avoid negative feedback.

Other developers in Dassel used the plat and developer agreement process, in which the developer initially takes responsibility for the streets and infrastructure. Then future property owners share in the cost of the development.

Kelsey Page, an attorney representing Page, is petitioning under Minnesota Statute 429 rules, in which the city constructs the street and later, property owners pay back the city through assessments over time.

Page said when his father, Howard Page, donated 2.2 acres for the street Nov. 5, the donation included a “memo of understanding” that the city would build the street on the land.

Also, Ewald wants to begin construction of her $3.5 million, 48-unit assisted living facility at the property this summer and needs to know the street is “in the works,” Page said.

Deb Suchy, a member of the Dassel Planning and Zoning Commission, reported that the commission has received no plat and no developer’s agreement yet from Page.

She reminded the council the original Sellard’s Addition developer went broke. He had no developer’s agreement, and left the city to pick up the pieces of the development. Suchy also recommended the council treat Page and Ewald the same as the other developers in Dassel.

The council decided to set Thursday, May 8 for a special meeting to review the “memo of understanding” with Page.

In other development business, the council heard a report from McGrath that the developer of Summit Hills must fix some cracked bituminous there, and correct a too-steep mound of dirt, in which soil is sliding down into the storm sewer system. The developer of Highland Meadows must correct the too-steep slopes of a holding pond at Galiger’s Lane. The developer in the CJ Moe Boulevard area must correct a drainage problem that is causing six inches of water to pool there, McGrath said.

Odds and ends

In other business, the city council:

• approved the general concept of having the Dassel veterans group get a 25-foot by 25-foot octagon gazebo in Breeds Park. The city might pay for connecting sidewalks and a concrete slab under the gazebo, depending on the costs and the plans. The veterans will pay about $26,000 for the metal-roofed gazebo, according to Public Works Director Dave Scepaniak.

• discussed streetlights for the city. Scepaniak said he wants to replace the wood light poles downtown with six modern lights on the south side of Atlantic Avenue. Scepaniak wants the kind of fixtures that spread the light down to the ground.

Council Member Wayne Medcraft agreed that Dassel is in desperate need of more street light. Darwin is half the size of Dassel, but is better lit, he said. Even the city’s liquor store could increase sales if the parking lot and area around it had more light, Medcraft added.

Medcraft also said he was in favor of Scepaniak’s proposal, even if it meant only replacing six lights a year.

• granted a gambling license to the Cokato Fire Department for charitable gambling in Thirsty’s Tavern.

• approved a 3.2 beer license for Cokato Dassel Lions Club for the sale of beer at the baseball field during Saints’ games.

• authorized Brenda Rydberg of the Little Red Hen to use two to three car lengths in front of the store on Atlantic Avenue for a farmers market and plant sale. The sales will be once a month from May through September.

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