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Winsted trail connection aligns with city goals
March 25, 2013
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By Starrla Cray
Staff Writer

WINSTED, MN – “If all goes as planned, the trail could be paved by the summer of 2014,” Winsted City Administrator Brad Martens said, referring to the Luce Line State Trail west of Winsted.

In order for Winsted to be ready to take advantage of the trail, tentative plans are to install signage directing trail users through the city and to appropriate parking areas, and create a share-the-road bypass lane along Baker Avenue.

At Tuesday’s Winsted City Council meeting, the council directed city staff to research the possibilities, and gather cost estimates. Having handouts available for trail users who’d like to explore the city’s amenities and business district was also discussed, along with potentially adding an outdoor drinking fountain.

The downtown trail connection fits with Winsted’s overall goals for 2013, which were developed at a special goal-setting session Feb. 15.

One item on the “must-do” list was to make improvements to better utilize the lake promenade.

“Among the proposed ideas is to use the area as a trail head for parking for the Luce Line State Trail,” Martens noted in a council update.

Other “must-do” items include expanding the industrial park, appointing a Downtown Vibrancy Committee, building a lighted skating rink, and improving communications between the city and residents/business owners.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the council took a step toward the industrial park expansion by approving a right-of-entry agreement with John and Daniel Entinger, to help determine if their property would be a good spot for this project.

Odds and ends
In other business, the council:

• authorized staff to hire an appraiser for land valuation services, as part of the process for paving the Luce Line State Trail west of Winsted. Part of the trail is currently in the airport runway protection zone, and one way to alleviate this issue would be to purchase one to three acres of land to slightly alter the trail alignment. Cost for appraisal services is estimated at $350 to $400.

• heard that two openings exist on the park commission. Anyone interested in joining is encouraged to contact Martens at (320) 485-2710 or e-mail brad.martens@winsted.mn.us.

• heard an update from building inspector Rob Beckfeld. An addition at Millerbernd Manufacturing is expected to be complete by June, as well as interior work on a small addition at K-Way Express. Beckfeld also said a small addition on RAM Buildings lumber supply building is in its framing stages.

• denied a request from Joe Johnson of Westside Skydivers to lower his operation’s insurance coverage requirement. The city’s requirements for premise liability are $1 million for each occurrence, and $2 million aggregate. The total premium of $9,338 also covers aircraft liability, premises medical payments, and on-premises auto liability.

“No other skydiving operation that I can find is required to carry the same limits, so that’s where this request is coming from,” Johnson said. The insurance he requested had an $8,100 premium, with lower coverage amounts for some categories.

Martens said the city’s requirement was recommended by the insurance company, and he would hesitate to get away from anything that’s not recommended.

• approved the purchase of a 2014 Mack truck with Townmaster equipment from Nuss Truck and Equipment and Townmaster Truck Equipment in an amount not to exceed $196,000.

“It’s going to be a good asset for the city,” maintenance supervisor Dave Meyer said.

• authorized the closing of city hall Friday, March 29 at noon.

• approved a two-week unpaid leave of absence for John Schlecter to be taken in May and October for farm work.

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