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The Lancaster City Council met for its regular meeting on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall.  The following members were present: Rice, Swenson and Barron.  Olson and Stenquist were not present, but contacted Rice and they will be present as soon as possible.


At 7:00PM Mayor, Rice, opened the Public Hearing to gather citizen input in regards to the Outdoor Recreation Grant from the MN Legacy Fund.   5 members from the public were in attendance. 


The project involves upgrading the facilities at the Lancaster Park.  Specific activities include:

1.        Bathhouse facility improvements including modifications to accommodate physically handicapped users.  $18,815

2.        Installation of ADA compliant picnic tables (2 tables) - $1,185.30 each/Total $2,370.60

3.        Installation of ADA compliant fire rings (2 fire rings) - $260 each/Total $520

4.        Extending water hook-ups to 8 camper sites - $6,600

5.        Re-roofing the bathhouse and one picnic shelter - $2,530

Implementation Schedule

Although the implementation schedule is somewhat dependent upon when the projects are awarded, it is hoped to achieve all of the proposed activities this year (2011).  Assuming that an award of funding is made at the beginning of July the City would anticipate beginning the project in mid August with a completion in November.

Overall Cost and the proposed financing for the project

The overall cost of the project is projected to be $30,835.  Of this, $23,127 is being requested from the Park Legacy Grant and $7,708 would come from the City of Lancaster.

Cost to be Assessed to Community Residents

The City of Lancaster’s local share will be drawn from the City’s General Fund and from the Park Fund.  Community residents will not be assessed for the cost of the improvements. 

Anticipated Other Associated Project Costs

The only other costs associated with the proposed project are ongoing operation and maintenance costs.  Because of the nature of the proposed improvements, it is not anticipated that O&M costs will escalate much, if any.  The installation of metal roofs on one shelter and the bathhouse, for example, should be long term and maintenance free.  Similarly the picnic tables and fire rings should require minimal maintenance – although replacement will probably be required in the future (perhaps 10 years).  Replacement in 10 years would equate to an annual cost of approximately $375 (the city has factored in an annual inflation rate of 3% or 30% for the decade - $289 x 1.3 = $375.70). 

Other costs such as mowing, painting, trail maintenance etc would remain very similar to current costs, but will be subject to increases in labor costs, price increases of gasoline, materials, and equipment. 


At this time the mayor opened the hearing for public input, there was none.  Barron moved to make an application for the Park Legacy Grant in the amount of $23,127.00, second by Swenson and carried.  Swenson moved to commit the city’s match of $7,708.00 for the park improvements, second by Barron and carried.  Mayor Rice closed the Hearing at 7:25PM.


Barron moved to approve the minutes of the February 9, 2011 regular meeting, second by Swenson and carried.   A copy of the Minutes will be posted at the Lancaster City Hall and U.S. Post Office and available upon request to the clerk.


At this time Council Members Olson and Stenquist attended the meeting.


At 7:30PM Mayor, Rice, opened the Public Hearing to gather citizen input in regards to the USDA loan application for the Community Center Project.  29 members from the public were in attendance.  Rice reviewed the history leading up to the application for USDA funds for the Community Center Project.  Rice also reviewed the architect’s conceptual plan, proposed costs and the funding of the USDA loan payments.  The proposed loan amount of $415,000.00 would be repaid over 40 years at approximate annual interest rate of 4.25%.  Rice talked about the fundraising project and that at this time the community center donations have totaled $8,295.51.  He also reported the Community Center Workgroup is in the process of developing a fundraising letter to support the project and bring down the cost to the city residents.  He also reported that the council would be able to reduce tax levy by using profits from the Liquor Store to make the USDA loan payment.  Rice then opened the hearing for public input. Discussion was held regarding the location of the new building.  Rice explained that the input from the Community Center Workgroup indicated that a downtown location was important because of proximity to the Café which may be asked to cater events in the center.  Additionally, events which would desire to have liquor available (such as wedding receptions) would be better served by a downtown facility with ease of access to the City’s municipal liquor store.  A question was raised about the how the project might impact future infrastructure needs such as sanitary sewer line repair and replacement.  Rice explained that  the method of payment would depend on the type of improvement needed.  If it was an extension of facilities to a new area of town the cost of the improvement would most likely be assessed to the benefiting properties.  If the improvement was a repair or replacement of an existing sewer line the cost would most likely be picked up the general fund.  Rice reported that the city has been very conservative with its tax levy in an effort to assure that the city can address future community needs.  At this time the city levy is $303.00 property tax on a home with an estimated market value of $50,000.00.  In comparison to the same house in Hallock, Kennedy, Lake Bronson and Karlstad property tax would range from 402.00 to $874.00.  There was some discussion on what the amount of usage the facility could expect.  One resident commented that in the last few months there have been 3 wedding receptions that have gone elsewhere because of the lack of a facility in town.  Councilman Stenquist stated that the Community Center Workgroup has been meeting for about 2 years and has consistently encouraged community input into the project.  He thanked the people who showed up at this hearing (some of whom had not previously attended Community Center Workgroup meetings).  Mayor Rice indicated that the city expects to undertake additional fundraising efforts for the project in the future, but this is to a large extent dependent on whether or not the City is approved for funding from its application for grant funding from the Department of Employment and Economic Development.  Mayor Rice closed the Hearing at 8:30PM.


Chris Jerome and Steven Sjostrand, representing the Lancaster Riverside Golf Course wish to have the city clerk complete the payroll requirements that the city is not already responsible for.  The clerk estimated the hours needed to be 25 per year.  Stenquist  moved to allow the clerk to assist the golf course with payroll at an annual fee of $500.00, second by Olson and carried.


The council reviewed the March 2011 Bills to be paid. Olson moved to approve the bills for payment, second by Barron and carried.  An abstract of bills will be posted with the minutes and are available upon request to the clerk.


Clerk reported that $6,067.57 has been received from Federal and Minnesota for the June 2010 flood.  This is the final flood monies to be received.


Council has set a Liquor Store inventory date of April 3, 2011 at 2:00PM.


Swenson moved to make a request from the American Legion Post #214 gambling fund for a greens roller for the golf course in the amount $8700.00, second by Barron and carried.  The council tabled a request for funds for a Welcome to Lancaster sign.


Council reviewed the February City and Liquor Store financial information, Liquor Store Daily sales and Gambling Monthly receipts. 


Council Adjourned as there was no further council business.




Carol Johnson








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