The following actions and discussion points were addressed at the June 11 Stacy City Council meeting:
Stacy residents caring for city property propose purchase
Stacy residents Cynthia and Paul Vogel have approached the city with a request to buy a portion of city land.
The Vogels have lived on property adjacent to the land since 1985 and have maintained the parcel, including mowing and weeding the land since that time. The 3.35-acre plot is currently zoned as parkland, with a market value of $39,600. The access to the land is through the Vogel’s driveway.
“If we were to decide to sell the property to you, we would have to do a lot split; it’s not going to be an overnight thing,” Mayor Mark Utecht said while looking over the request at the June 11 City Council meeting.
The couple wasn’t looking for the city to act on the proposal at the meeting.
“We didn’t expect to write a check tonight,” Cynthia Vogel said, laughing.
The city offered a tentative price of present market value plus all costs incurred by the sale. Utecht said Stacy has to cover the costs of the transaction. He explained the city will incur some costs just exploring the feasibility of the sale. He expressed concern that should the couple decide not to buy after this, the city is on the hook for a sum of money. City Attorney Peter Grundhoefer said the city could require some security on the costs from the buyers and recommended the assessor’s office be contacted to find out when a market value was last assigned.
The Vogels hesitated.
“Right now this land is not on your tax rolls,” Paul Vogel said.
Cynthia Vogel added, “The city has never maintained it.” Grundhoefer said this is not reason for the city to reduce the price.
“We’re just looking at fair market,” Paul Vogel said.
Before any sale is made, the mayor wants to make sure the proposal is thoroughly reviewed.
“I want to make sure the city’s interests are covered, he said. “It’s a unique set of conditions, and I don’t want this to be a precedent for other city lands,” Utecht said.
Stacy Lions seek update on liquor permits
The Stacy Lions are proposing a “hard beer license” to sell canned beer and wine coolers. The current license is a 3.2 beer license. Stacy Lions representative Jerry Schroeder said the proposal is in response to complaints that patrons to Lions events have been seen bringing beer into events, which is against the rules. Schroeder was quick to say “no booze.” The Lions have learned that other clubs including Rush City, Pine City and Hugo operate their liquor sales this way.
City Clerk Sharon Payne checked state requirements and thought this is feasible through the city granting the Lions a club license.
Stacy city maintenance department casts for equipment this summer but hooks nothing
City Maintenance Supervisor Tanner Jones had hoped to persuade the council to approve spending $4,100 for a pressure washer, but the council balked at the price.
“I want to give our people every tool that they need, but whether this is a tool the department needs or not, I’m not convinced,” Utecht said. The mayor suggested renting a power washer. Jones agreed to look for used equipment and to research the price of renting the equipment.
Stacy council tries to draw attention to traffic safety issues
The city received a letter from Chisago County Commissioner Ben Montzka, requesting a priority list of Stacy highway projects.
The council quickly brought up a traffic signal at the intersection of Stacy Trail and Forest Boulevard as the top priority. At the very least, the city wants flashing red lights installed on the stop signs at the intersection. Utecht has spoken to County Engineer Joe Triplett about making sure there are signs visible from each vantage point at the intersection, citing numerous near misses and a fatality in the past year.
The mayor suggested requesting a “modest project,” but then the council hunkered down, insisting the city needs an electronic traffic signal, but then considered their repeated requests for this. “Do we ask for the stoplight and hope they offer something else?” Utecht asked.
Councilor Jim Ness thought the city’s request for a traffic signal would be laughed at. The council regrouped, agreeing priority No. 1 is a flashing red light at the intersection of Stacy Trail and Forest Boulevard. Priority No. 2 is a new bridge on Stacy Trail over the freeway. The third priority is improvements to Forest Boulevard between Stacy and the city of Wyoming. The fourth request is for sidewalks on the west side of the city on Stacy Trail.
“I would broach that these are all safety issues,” Ness added.
In other news
• The Stacy Park and Recreations Committee will be meeting to prepare for the dedication of the west side ball fields. Improvements were funded by a grant from the Minnesota Twins Community Fund, and the organization requested a dedication ceremony be held as a requirement to the grant.
•The city has reached an agreement with the North Branch Area Hockey Association, and it appears the Stacy Sports Complex will again be moving forward. The NBAHA had run into a delay in the project when the bank financing some of the project would not loan funds unless the association owned the land. The land was to be city owned and leased to the association. The city then proposed to sell the land to the NBAHA for $1.09 per square foot. The NBAHA reported they have been able to secure the funding to purchase the land the hockey arena will be built on.