The St. James City Council met Tuesday, Oct. 2, with all council members present. Minutes and bills were approved as written.
City council's first order of business was to approve H & M Drilling's application for a license required by Minnesota state law and the ordinances of St. James. This license has to be obtained before H & M Drilling can work on the sewer and water lines in a residential house on the north side of St. James.
The request to install an additional antenna on the existing monopole tower located on sixth Avenue in St. James passed by unanimous vote Tuesday evening.
"This item was tabled while waiting for a clarification from the applicant," said EDA Director and Planning and Zoning Coordinator Molly Westman.
Word came back from the applicant indicating the tower will not exceed 195 ft. This meets the requirements necessary to add the antenna.
"In addition, the original pole is designed to implode and collapse upon itself should anything happen," said Mayor Gary Sturm.
The 2006A G.O. PIR Fund bonds that were used to finance street and utility improvements in the vicinity of the hospital and in the Mayberry Hills subdivision were voted by city council to be refunded.
There were three bids for the bonds coming from UMB Bank with a net interest at 1.2164 percent, United Bankers' Bank with a net interest at 1.3910 percent and Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc. with a net interest at 1.4990 percent. This leaves the city with a present value interest savings of $215,511.
"You forgot your red suit and white beard," said Mayor Sturm to Shannon Sweeney, an associate at David Drown Associates, alluding to the substantial savings the city will receive from the deal.
Mayor Sturm then stepped down while a request was made in which he may have a financial interest.
The request was for a public meeting and was granted unanimously by the city council. The meeting will discuss a 15 year city/county tax abatement for the construction of six twin home buildings.
This deal will provide the developer a maximum amount of $10,760 in property tax per year from the twin homes.
"The city can reduce its risk and still be involved in residential housing," said Sweeney.
The public hearing will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m.
A resolution introduced by Building Official Steve Carson requested the removal of a vacant building located at 300 Third Ave. N, St. James.
"This is a house on Third Street North we have been trying to get repaired," said Carson. "We are bringing the resolution to repair or demolish the property."
"There are no taxes being paid to the city on the property," said Council Member Mike Banks.
Page 2 of 2 - The resolution was voted on and passed unanimously.
The final motion of the evening was unanimously denied by all present council members.
Council members denied the request made to the city to consider deferring a repayment requirement despite a proposed contract for deed sale.
The mortgage stated the property is to be owned for 10 years for forgiveness of funding.
Council members expressed their doubt in the proposal, sighting a proposal like this has never before been approved.
"You can say we'll get the money back, but who can tell the future?" Asked chairperson Don Mackey. "Not that we don't want to look for development in town."
"I don't think we should go down this road" agreed Council Member Paul Harris.