Wednesday, July 17th, 2024 Church Directory

Numerous issues discussed during CW City ’s spring meetings

The Clearwater City Council discussed numerous agenda items during their April and May meetings, including the Hwy. 24 Corridor Project, the new food shelf building, and utility fees.

During public forum at the May meeting, a resident approached the board with questions about the Hwy. 24 Corridor Project, expressing concern that a roundabout at Co. Rd. 75 will make it difficult for residents from the east side of town to get across to the west side due to high levels of traffic during the summer.

There was additional discussion on safety and truck traffic; the council encouraged the resident to share his comments with MnDOT.

City Administrator Annita Smythe reported that MnDOT’s town hall meetings concerning this issue were well attended, with overall feedback being positive. There were concerns brought up about the roundabouts and the lack of left turn lanes between 1-94 and the Mississippi River bridge; residents are encouraged to continue sending feedback to MnDOT.

Food Shelf

Food shelf volunteer Mary Abraham approached the board to request a conditional use permit to allow the use of a metal exterior for the new food shelf building. City code requires 50% of a building exterior must be something other than metal, which Abraham stated would add over $50,000 to the project.

Council members’ consensus was to leave the current ordinance intact and make an exception for the project due to the charitable nature of the facility and its location near the MnDOT truck facility, which is not required to comply with local zoning controls under state law.

A motion carried approving Resolution 2024-33 Approving Site Plan and Conditional Use Permit for Food Shelf.

Utility fees

A motion carried to amend the city’s utilities policy, including the new addition of a section related to water line breaks, which allows some waivers of the sewer portion of fees when it could be confirmed the water did not go through the sewer lines. This will be limited to a once in 12 months; larger dollar amounts would still come to the city council.

Another motion carried to apply the new utilities policy to the Main Street property that recently had a water line break.

Mr. Briggs of the new Clearwater Residential Suites approached the board to request a waiver of some utility fees, explaining the building had service connected in November but didn’t receive a Certificate of Occupancy to rent units until March. 

City policy is that base fee billing begins upon connection. There were only 20 gallons used during the period being discussed; a motion carried waiving the November through February fees except for one unit base fee and the actual gallons used.

Speed Limits

Council Member Luhmann expressed concern about speeding on city streets and stated she would like the speed limit on Hwy. 24 and Co. Rd. 75 lowered to 30 mph in city limits.

A discussion followed, and it was suggested the city reach out to Wright Co. to see what data they may have on file for those roads and reach out to MnDOT for traffic calming measures as part of the Hwy. 24 Corridor Project.

Council members agreed and also requested to have speed trackers moved to Co. Rd. 75.

Parks

Israel Carper from the Clearwater River Cats amateur baseball team approached the board with updates and requests. He stated the scoreboard will be installed this summer and that the Lions Club has offered to donate funds to cover the costs of replacing the benches in the dugouts. The club would also like to partner with the team to build a larger pavilion for Sportsman’s Park in what would be the grandstand area behind home plate. 

The team agreed to cover half the costs of a new shed but asked the city to build the shed now and give the team 12 months to cover their half.

Motions carried accepting the new benches and allowing the team 12 months to pay their half of the new shed.

Other Business

Lieutenant Wirkkula from the Wright County Sheriff’s office presented the county’s annual report, noting that Wright County is in the top 10 counties in the state for serious crashes; the department is working to change that.

Wirkkula also reported that the largest category of crime is theft, which included several different types of theft, and that the department is working to determine the ‘right’ contract service hours for Clearwater. There’s been an uptick in calls for service in the city during 2 to 6 p.m., and it was suggested the city consider adding hours during that period.

Caroline Stutsman reported on the city’s 2023 audit report, noting there were no issues except for a comment on ‘lack of segregation of accounting duties’, which is a normal finding in a small city the size of Clearwater.

The Clearwater City Council met on June 10 and discussed Hwy. 24 corridor project alternatives, the Spring Street Stormwater project, and the No-Mow May initiative. The meeting will be covered in a future edition of the Patriot. 

The next Clearwater City Council meeting will be July 8 at 7 p.m.