City finance clerk Karen Hodge received a step increase effective Sept. 17, 2012, going from $18.97 to $20.23 per hour. Police officers Arnie Soden, Alex Dehn, Matt Mullins and Jason Cederberg also received step increases effective this year – Soden going from a rate of $22 to $22.75 on Sept. 1; Dehn going from $22.75 to $23.48 on Sept. 9; Mullins going from $23.48 to $24.19 on Sept. 17; and Cederberg going from $22 to $22.75 on Oct. 19.
The council approved a grant agreement for a project to rehabilitate the connecting taxiway and apron, as well as to fog seal the runway and parallel taxiway at the city airport. The total cost is not to exceed $539,351. Federal dollars will pay 90 percent of the cost of rehabbing the pavement, apron and connecting taxiway. State dollars will pay for 70 percent of the fog seal work. It will mean the federal share will be $449,435, the state share will be just over $27,985 and the city will pay $61,931.
The council passed a resolution to authorize applying for a second Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) grant through the Mora-based Lakes & Pines Community Action Council. The grant would come from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, with the amount yet to be determined. The first SCDP grant the city received about a year ago was applied for jointly with Milaca and was for $547,400. New guidelines suggest that a city has a better chance of getting a SCDP grant if it applies for it just by itself, rather than going in with another city. The grant money is used to help residential and commercial property owners do limited rehabilitation work on their structures.
Downtown project donations accepted
The council will accept $1,190 in donations to assist the It Starts Here downtown revitalization program. The donations are:
• $70 each from Berry Law Office, Christ Our Light Catholic parish, Crystal Cabinet Works, Edward Jones Investments, Freshwaters United Methodist Church, K-Bob Cafe, Minuteman Press, Rum River Automotive, Rum River Health Service, Rum River Promotions, and Sterling Pointe Senior Living; $100 each from Manke Business Services and Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce and $125 from Corigin Tech
Ordinance on auction businesses
The council amended the zoning ordinance to allow auction businesses as a conditional use permit in the MN-1 (industrial) and MN-2 industrial 2 zoning districts. The permit has conditions, including that the property must contain a principal building, have proper screening, and that the site plan address the access, loading and unloading areas, and the plan clearly show the storage areas for auction merchandise and parking areas for attendees.
Hockey group’s request
The council tabled a proposed resolution to change the terms for the Princeton Youth Hockey Association for payments on its city sewer and water access charges stemming from constructing a $2.3 million second hockey arena about three years ago.
The old terms were to pay the amount over a five-year period at an interest rate of eight percent. The proposed resolution would change the payment period to 10 years and reduce the interest rate to five percent. The council tabled action at the suggestion of council member Dick Dobson, who said the Princeton Public Utilities Commission, which is in charge of providing city water, had not yet reviewed the proposal.
The combined SAC and WAC charge was $52,798 and the remaining principal to pay, according to city treasurer Steve Jackson, is $23,579.50.
In other city council news…
• The council approved Daniel Pierce’s retirement from the fire and rescue department.
• The council introduced an ordinance formally spelling out what the city has had as a policy for many years – that a property must be in city limits in order to hook into city sewer and water mains.