By Linda Scherer
WINSTED, MN Site plans were approved by the Winsted City Council at its Tuesday meeting to allow for the construction of a new assisted living with memory loss facility and the remodeling of the existing St. Mary’s Care Center and parking facilities.
The new 12,000-square-foot facility will be located on the east side of St. Mary’s Care Center. The entrance to the building will also be on the east side, off of Fairlawn Avenue.
The name of the home is called the Garden House, which was designed to have the look of a home and landscaping to preserve what is called the “park-like nature” around the building.
The perspectives of St. Mary’s new assisted living facility and the remodeled St. Mary’s Care Center were submitted by Jesse Hopkins, Nor-Son, Inc. project architect.
Now that the site plans have been approved by the council, the next step in this process will be to finalize the financing and at that point, there will be a construction date, according to St. Mary’s Care Center Administrator/CEO Andy Opsahl.
Airport environmental assessment denied
Bolton & Menk engineer Marcus Watson first reviewed the scope of the environmental assessment project and where it currently lies in the airport master plan process with the council.
The proposed project as it stands in the airport master plan and the airport layout plan is to shift the primary runway slightly to the north and pave it to meet the long-term needs of the airport.
Primary issues needing to be addressed in the assessment include the Luce Line State Trail alignment near the airport, surrounding airport land use, as well as the acquisition of land and the relocation of the Winsted Farmers Co-op.
The proposed cost for the assessment project outlined by Watson is $115,000 and the project would be eligible for 95 percent of the cost to be paid by the FAA. The city’s portion of the cost would be $5,750.
“This is my personal opinion on this,” Council Member Tom Ollig said. “I cannot see us ever asking a business to relocate, or purchasing property for the expansion of this airport. At some point in time, I have to say I don’t want to go any farther (with the airport master plan) and I am going to vote against this tonight.”
Watson said the environmental assessment is not a commitment in itself in completing the overall project as it stands in the airport long term plan, but is the next step.
Council Member Dave Mochinski asked Watson if it would affect Winsted’s federal funding if the council did not approve going forward with the assessment plan at this time.
“I can’t speak on behalf of the FAA,” Watson said.
“If the city doesn’t go forward with the program this year, there are certainly other opportunities down the road. Eventually, it may get to the point where FAA would start to question some of the development plans if the airport were to remain stagnant.”
The council was unanimous in not entering into the agreement with Bolton & Menk to prepare the airport environmental assessment.
Storm water pollution prevention approved
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) recently issued a new general permit for storm water discharge at airports. The deadline to apply for permit coverage is Aug. 6 of this year, according to Watson.
The MPCA is requiring a stormwater pollution prevention plan be put in place which, according to Watson, is a working document that monitors and evaluates storm water discharge from areas like the pavement, the fuel facility and other airport businesses which run into the storm water system itself, according to Watson.
The cost of the update is $3,500, plus a permit fee of approximately $400, according to Watson.
State funding can be applied for, with about a 50-50 shot of Winsted receiving a grant for about 70 percent of the expense. The grant cannot be applied for until after the work has been completed, according to Watson.
The council agreed to have Bolton & Menk prepare the storm water pollution prevention plan to meet new MPCA requirements for the airport.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved a computer system for the utility billing and payroll clerk for $1,271.78.
• scheduled a city council work session for Wednesday, June 23 at 3 p.m. in the Lewis Room at city hall to discuss the city administrator interviewing process.
• scheduled a special city council meeting for Wednesday, June 23 at 3:30 p.m. in the council chambers at city hall to interview the finalists for the city administrator position.
• scheduled a public hearing for amending the city’s animal control ordinance for Tuesday, July 6 at 6 p.m.
• scheduled a public hearing to consider amending the city’s blight ordinance for Tuesday, July 6 at 6 p.m.
• adopted an ordinance amending the liquor license fees for the City of Winsted, lowering the fees on club on-sale liquor license from $350 to $300, and Sunday on-sale liquor license from $300 to $200.
• was informed the Winsted Arts Council received a grant for $3,780 to help defray expenses for the Arts in the Park event.
The grant money will come directly to the city, but will not be received until possibly the end of the summer.
The city agreed to pay the Arts in the Park performers now and get reimbursed when the grant funds come in.