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Winsted compares two sites for industrial park expansion
July 8, 2013
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By Starrla Cray
Staff Writer

WINSTED, MN – Two 40-acre sites have been proposed for Winsted’s future industrial park, each with their own pluses and minuses.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, city engineer Jake Saulsbury presented the findings of a recently completed feasibility study.

One of the sites, located on the northwest corner of CSAH 5 and CSAH 1, is owned by Clay Montgomery. The other site, located directly south of the existing industrial park and west of the wastewater treatment facility, is owned by Dorothy Entinger.

Not counting property acquisition, estimated project costs for development of the Montgomery site are about $2.8 million, compared to the Entinger site at about $2.2 million. The costs include storm sewer/wetland impacts, watermain improvements, sanitary sewer improvements, street improvements, and site grading.

Saulsbury said those numbers are most likely higher than reality, because some expenses may or may not occur.

City Administrator Brad Martens said he has had conversations with the property owners, and both are open to the idea of selling.

The Montgomery property has 25.5 acres of buildable area, and the preliminary layout allows for 14 lots, ranging in size from 1.5 to 4.1 acres. The land is currently unused, and in a natural state.

The Entinger property has 22.2 buildable acres, with space for 10 lots, ranging in size from 1 to 3.8 acres. The property is being used for farming, and is also the camping space for the Winstock Country Music Festival. The current Winstock agreement extends until summer 2015, and will need to be evaluated in the next stage of development planning.

The council approved the findings of the feasibility study, and plans to discuss the findings with Saulsbury at its next work session. By September, the council hopes to have a preferred site selected.

Airport vs. trail
In order for the Winsted Municipal Airport to remain eligible for federal funding, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has requested that the city develop a plan to meet requirements in regards to the Luce Line State Trail, which runs near the airport.

The current path of the trail is in the airport’s runway protection zone, which extends outward 1,200 feet from the runway end. According to engineer Marcus Watson with Bolton & Menk, the FAA considers paving the trail to be incompatible land use within the runway protection zone.

The city has explored several options to alleviate this issue, and plans to continue working with the FAA to come to an acceptable solution.

Administrator farewell
Friday was Martens’ last day in the office as Winsted’s city administrator. At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, Martens thanked several people in Winsted, including the city council, staff, business owners, and residents.

“This community has more going on than communities two or three times its size,” he said. “People should be proud to be a part of it.”

Martens said he will gladly help out during the transition and answer any questions for the future city administrator.

Odds and ends
In other business, the council:

• approved a stipend of $700 for the work Meagan Donahue completed as an intern. She worked about 215 hours this summer, conducting research related to building a skating rink, recreational vehicles parking on city streets, the size of allowable accessory structures, and information related to downtown development. She also attended business meetings for the draft sign ordinance, a planning commission meeting, the League of Minnesota Cities conference, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) meeting, and worked on other miscellaneous projects. Her last full day with Winsted was June 28.

• formally approved a temporary acting administrator agreement with Mayor Steve Stotko at $20 per hour, with no additional benefits.

• approved a public utility easement for a portion of 210 Sixth Street North, because a city-owned storm sewer intake and storm sewer pipe are partially located on the property. Property owners Gordon and Lenora Kubasch requested $1,000 for the easement, which was approved by the council.

• accepted the resignation of Kevin Kubasch from the Winsted Airport Commission. Kubasch, who has been a member of the commission since 1998, recently sold his home near Winsted and is moving to northern Minnesota.

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