Sand Mine, School Crossing, and ATV Route are topics at GC Council meeting

GLENWOOD CITY — Several items were on the agenda for the Glenwood City City Council meeting of September 4th including discussion on allowing city property to be used as an ATV trail, and a request for action by the council against the proposed Frac Sand mine.

The council also heard about creating a program for a Safe Route to School. Plus they discussed many other items of city business.

First the council heard from Patrick Beilfuss of Cedar Corporation out of Menomonie about creating a Safe Route to School program.

Beilfuss spoke to the council and to about a dozen citizens that were in attendance at the council meeting about creating a plan for a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. He gave some background information about the international movement that promotes walking and bicycling to school.

His statement indicated that, “the creation of a Safe Route to School Plan is an important first step in developing a successful SRTS Program. A SRTS Plan details the methods your community and school plan to take to increase walking and bicycling to school. The Plan also shows the actions required to make it safer to bicycle and walk to school.”

Beilfuss told the group that “timing is great now,” as grant funding is every two years and the material for the next round will not be available until early 2014. He urged the creation of a Task Force to come up with a plan, and that plan would be used to apply for grant funds. The grant pays 100 percent of the cost of the project, except for planning and grants writing, Beilfuss told the council, with a maximum of $300,000. He urged the council to start a plan now.

The council along with the school had created a plan to address the pedestrian crossing over highway 170 from Misty Lane to school property.

Frac Sand

Chris Schone appeared before the council and discussed the letter the city had sent to the County requesting a 90-day moratorium on any approval for the proposed sand mine just south of Glenwood City. Schone reminded the council that they sent that letter on July 2nd and it would expire in 28 days. Schone questioned what action the council has taken since and if they have formed a committee to study what he called, “an impact on our community.”

Mayor John Larson responded by saying that the letter was done as a favor for a local business-person and that the city is not looking for anything. “You have to tell us what you want us to do, we have no plans in place,” the mayor indicated to Schone. He continued, “I don’t think the council is going to make a resolution either Pro or Con for the sand mine.”
Joe Draxler, who is chairman of the Town of Glenwood, was attending the council meeting and addressed the question about a the sand mine and explained that the town had approved a recommendation to the County Zoning Committee. “The Township had approved the county zoning and everything that happens has to go through the St. Croix County and its Board of Adjustments.” Draxler informed the meeting.

Draxler continued by saying that the county will probably not take any action on the matter within the next month. “It’s earliest will be in November or later.”

Mayor Larson spoke on the matter and to Schone by saying, “I don’t want to give you the impression that the city council is not interested in this, because we are. I respect your position, but it can bring real benefits to this community.” Larson continued by saying, “I don’t see where the city has much leverage over Vista Sand. I don’t see where they have to respond to us. The county will do their job.” Larson suggested that we have faith in the county.

Draxler indicated that the town board has not taken the matter lightly either. He spoke about the first time he heard that someone was testing for the sand, “I was against it.” He spoke about touring areas where mining is going on and talking to other people.” I have made an 180 degree turn in a year and I have a lot of confidence in what they are doing.”

ATV Trail

Stacey Jordheim representing the Glenwood Forest Barn Stormers ATV Club asked the council for permission to use the old railroad bed that the city owns as an ATV trail. That bed is currently a walking trail and a snowmobile trail in the winter-time. It runs from the fairgrounds to Downing. The walking path terminates at 320 Street just south of the school.

ATVs will be allowed on the trail from April 1st to December 1st and the trail will still be a multi use trail and walking and biking is encouraged. The council approved the request.

Other Council Business

The council also addressed the question of what is private property and public use in regards to taverns with outside areas that are licensed to serve beverages. At question from last month’s meeting is enforcement at the Boondocks over consumption after hours.

Apparently the question is about the renter of the apartment at the back of the tavern and them getting into the apartment across land that the police department determined to be part of the tavern’s public access to the license premises and closed after bar hours.

Mayor Larson opened up the meeting with the suggestion; “we are not in any position to make any changes to the ordinance.” The mayor would like a 60-90 day trial period on the matter. Owner of the Boondocks, Lisa Moede told the council “we do not have after parties.” Apparently the council will take a wait and see on the issue.

During his report to the council, Public Works Director, Doug Doornink indicated that he had received a bid for removal of the old city hall, but the mayor quickly indicated that he also had a bid, but did not open it saying we are not at a point of bidding. “We just are looking for estimates.” He also told the council that the swimming pool is all closed up for the season. Doornink also discussed some problems at the wastewater treatment facilities that were caused when the power went down recently.

Later in the meeting the council approved spending some $5,850 for the purchase of three scales to better meter chemicals put into the water supply system and to be able to meet new reporting standards.

During his report the mayor indicated that an appliance collection will be held in Glenwood City on September 15 from 8 to 1. The cost will be $8.00 each. He also commented on the proposed new Dollar Store that the council reviewed some months ago and that currently is still under consideration and that engineering firms are still looking at the site.

The council gave its approval for a group to install a new sign for the Community Center. The motion that was approved on a five to one vote would have the city financing one quarter of the cost up to $450.

Council member Steve Lee opposed the new sign, saying, “you can not see the building for all the items in front of it. Shrubs, trees, poles. Clean it up first, is the input I am getting.”
And, finally the council learned that the open book for the new re-valuation will be held at the city hall on Friday, September 14 from 6 to 8 and again on Saturday, September 15 from 8 to 10 and the board of review will be on Monday October 8 from 4 to 6.