By Jon Tatting—
If all goes to plan in Rush City, folks in search of bargains won’t have to travel very far.
The city council on Jan. 9 unanimously approved a preliminary plat request with conditions for Rush Creek Bluff First Addition, planned to be occupied by a new Dollar General store on the southeast corner of County State Aid Highway 1 and O’Neill Avenue, just east and across from the Holiday Stationstore near Interstate 35.
RSBR Investments out of Albert Lea, Minn., submitted the plat application back in December. The property, zoned highway business, is owned by Rumpel Family Farm.
The proposal is following an earlier vision of the property, which was originally platted as Outlot A in the Rush Creek Bluff subdivision. The plan: when commercial opportunities arise, individual lots may split from the existing outlot and replatted as commercial lots.
One of the 16 conditions of the preliminary plat indicates a cash escrow in lieu of trail construction — along the north side of the property, adjacent to CSAH 1 — will be needed to comply with the comprehensive plan at 100 percent of the city engineer’s estimate.
Also at the time of the final plat, park dedication in the form of cash in lieu of land will be required in the amount of 2 percent of the fair market value of the land. Eleven trees and street lighting are part of the plan, as well.
Next, RSBR Investments must submit a final plat to the city within a year, while all conditions and expectations are required to be drawn up along with the financing requirements within a development agreement.
City Administrator Amy Mell noted the applicant hopes to close on the property in March, with construction to follow yet this year.
According to its Web site, Dollar General Corporation is the “nation’s largest small-box discount retailer” based in Goodlettsville, Tenn. With more than 9,800 stores mostly located in small to mid-size communities in 38 states, there are 16 in Minnesota including one in Cambridge. Items for sale range from office supplies, toys, household goods, apparel and accessories, health and beauty and food.
Councilors learned the city’s preliminary year-end expenditure total in the general fund ($1,155,807 was originally budgeted) was under budget by $48,489 as of Dec. 31. 2011.
Of the over-budgeted items, $13,230 was spent on building inspections at the city-owned St. Croix River Education District facility; $8,657 in pension contribution to the fire department; and $3,791 for Public Works due to motor fuel, road sand and salt and equipment repair.
As for the money coming in, year-to-date revenues in the general fund was short $46,105 from the budgeted mark. However, Rush City expects to receive all remaining revenues — from additional taxes for 2011, to permit fees, to charges for services — by the end of February, said Mell.
That and the state had promised Rush City market value homestead credit revenues in the amount of $31,201 for payable 2011, but it has only paid the city $1,920.
In other news:
• The council, from the last meeting, learned almost 300 properties had applied for inspections, with 240 complete, in an update on the city’s inflow and infiltration program. Since the inspections started, noted City Administrator Mell, 47 sewer laterals have failed; of those, 36 have been repaired. Otherwise, the “I & I loan and special assessments have been going well, as 18 of them have been issued,” she explained.
• Councilors approved the city’s fee schedule and designations and appointments for 2012. Mell said a vacancy exists on the Airport Advisory Board (three-year term), Planning Commission (five-year, city residency required) and Economic Development Authority (five-year, city residency optional). And two seats (three-year, city residency optional) are vacant on the Park Board.
• The ECM Post Review was chosen as the city’s official newspaper.
• The council approved an amendment to the law enforcement services agreement between the county and city. According to the amended language, as outlined by the Chisago County Attorney’s Office, a deputy sheriff taking enforcement action regarding a violation of state law within a city is deemed to be exercising the police powers of a city employee or police officer at the moment of enforcement.