Monday’s agenda and beyond

To infinity…and beyond! Alas, my horizon is much more limited; I’m only looking out to December 2009 with a few glimmers from 2010.

What is not on tomorrow’s agenda, but will be soon:

November 2: Council will act on the city attorney recommendations which have been generating much comment (but about which I shall have no comment until the November 2 meeting)

December: Budget and CIP decisions will have to be made.   The much discussed streetlight utility is not in the 2010 budget; if the Council decides to create the utility that would be a 2011 innovation.

What is on tomorrow’s agenda:

Consent agenda: since this part of the agenda has been under scrutiny lately, I’ll say that I don’t think anything on tomorrow’s consent agenda, shouldn’t be.   Disbursements, approve charitable gambling, award bids for the Riverside Trail connection (this might spark some comment out there, but I think the relevant policy decisions have been made already even if the total cost and route of this trail segment have caused concern), approve a proclamation for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and purchase police vehicles.

Regular agenda: Only 2 items.  One is a motion authorizing the City Administrator to execute a “letter of intent” between the City and Jefferson Square townhomes’ developer which contemplates providing tax increment financing to Jefferson Square to support their applications to the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for tax credits.   Jefferson Square has also received approval from the city recently for changes to their Planned Unit Development to allow construction of a clubhouse/community space for the townhomes; renovation to the homes is also part of that project.   This is one of those leverage situations – The City’s contribution helps Jefferson Square leverage additional state support to help keep this townhome development as affordable housing (as it has been since 1980) and also continue to improve and upgrade the property.  It’s a good deal.

The other item establishes 3 options in priority order in connection with the purchase of the MnDOT owned property at the corner of 2nd Street and Highway 3 – part of The Crossings project.  Priority 1 is to purchase the property at a price based on a value that splits the difference between MnDOT’s appraisal of $208,000 (which does not account for the contamination of the soil) and the City’s $54,000 appraisal or $131,000.  This doesn’t sound like a great deal, but it may be the best bet.   Other options would either involve “binding mediation” (I know what binding arbitration is, but I’m not sure about binding mediation) which has both time and money costs associated with it; the other option (the 3rd and lowest priority) would be to test the market and offer the property for sale on the open market which has time, uncertainty and probably some money costs.   Should certainty and expedience trump price fairness?

Then there’s the worksession: More budget presentations: HR, Community Development and the Insurance Fund.  And item 2. “CIP Discussion” which is probably code for “Safety Center again.”

One Reply to “Monday’s agenda and beyond”

  1. Betsey: I’m disappointed that the Council passed the bike trail expenditure without any comment. At over $500.00 per foot, to not even discuss it is irresponsible. $271,000 is a lot of money to pass without any discussion of whether the original policy decision is good or bad.

    I’m not sure why you don’t want to comment on the City Attorney position before the Nov. 2 meeting. Every person I talked to wants to know why Northfield is in such a hurry to send its money out of town.

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