By Jon Tatting—
Rush City residents who fail to read their water meters and notify the city are now subject to consequences that will affect pocketbooks and possibly the service.
The Rush City Council on March 26 agreed to impose a fee of $25 per month on those who neglect to read their water meters after two consecutive months. People may also face a $50 fee for not responding to letters requesting an annual water meter reading within 15 days.
Councilors talked in depth about the issue of unread water meters and its impact on administrative time and Public Works time. City Administrator Amy Mell noted almost 100 people in the city are regularly neglecting to read their meters, oftentimes months overdue, even when reminded by the city.
The council also discussed adding more “teeth” to the city’s letter that deals with shutting off the service.
As for snowbirds or those planning longer vacations, they are encouraged to notify the city of their plans ahead of time.
In light of the proposed Dollar General store, councilors approved the development agreement, a partial release of the original plat agreement and a deposit and disbursement agreement (regarding sidewalk along the property). All are contingent on receipt of a deed for Outlot B of Rush Creek Bluff, the original plat.
The new plat, called Rush Creek Bluff First Addition, is planned to be occupied by a Dollar General on the southeast corner of CSAH 1 and O’Neill Avenue, just east and across from the Holiday store near the interstate.
The developer, RSBR Investments out of Albert Lea, Minn, is wanting to close on the property in a week, with construction to follow yet this year. The property is owned by Rumpel Family Farm Limited Partnership.
Failed compliance checks
The Chisago County Sheriff’s Office reported the VFW and Rush City Tavern, formerly Triple T’z Pub and Grub, were two of six businesses in Rush City that failed alcohol compliance checks conducted on Feb. 24.
As a result, the sheriff’s office has filed charges against the individuals who sold alcohol to its underage decoy, and the cases have been referred to the county attorney’s office for review.
City Administrator Mell advised the city’s ordinance dealing with liquor and beer needs to be updated. Councilors directed the city attorney to draft a revision of the ordinance for future review.
According to the sheriff’s office, 14 businesses across the county refused to sell to its underage buyer while a total of three failed the compliance checks.
Providing alcohol to underage persons is a gross misdemeanor and punishable by fines up to $3,000 and up to one year in jail. Typically, offenders are fined several hundred dollars as held accountable by the courts, the sheriff’s office said.
In other news:
• City Administrator Mell noted the 4th Street turnback project is progressing well with few complaints on the east side of town. Water and sewer improvements are getting done, storm sewer work is about to begin, and temporary water is available for the downtown area. Crews are also working on new gas mains on Field Avenue.
• Councilors approved forms that are required for a Public Facilities Authority (PFA) loan for the 4th Street turnback project.
• The council approved a footing encroachment agreement, contingent on the city engineer’s approval, as it relates to the proposed St. Croix River Education District office building in town.
• Councilors approved two minor subdivision requests by Michael Carroll to facilitate an addition to the existing funeral home. One property is the former Mason’s building, 155 W. 4th St., and the other is property owned by the railroad.
• The Board of Review meeting is set for April 17 at 9:30 a.m. at city hall.