CROSSLAKE - The Crosslake City Council took preliminary steps to replace the Dream Island Bridge.
The council agreed to send a letter to the Crow Wing County Highway Department requesting that the county begin the process of applying for local bridge funding to replace the bridge. The single-lane bridge was built about 47 years ago and remodeled about 19 years ago.
City engineer Dave Reese said the county acts as a processing agency for the bridge when the Legislature goes to the bonding session. The city would be responsible for design costs while construction costs would be covered, Reese said.
Tom Swenson, city administrator, said the bridge needs to be fixed in the near future. The replacement bridge is expected to last about 75 years, Reese said.
One of the issues is how long residents will have limited access to the mainland. Reese said the plan is to do the work in the fall, when the number of island residents is limited. The work is expected to take about two to three days and a walking access could be maintained within the first day. Reese said the fire department may want to put a fire truck on the island for the project's duration.
In other business, the council:
Appointed Armond Gease and Ollie Courts to serve on the Public Works Committee.
Learned the Crosslake public library sold 300 library cards, has 17,000 books and that donations continue to come in, with $463,263 in cash and pledges as of April. This month will be the last meeting of the library committee after more than 100 meetings. The committee worked for about nine years, with a goal of establishing a library in the city.
"We thank the community for all the help," said Alden Hardwick, library committee.
Swanson said Hardwick stayed with the project through good times and bad and praised him for sticking with the project. The library's grand opening is at 1 p.m. June 3.
Approved a permit for a Crosslake Farmer's Market in the Town Square to sell home-grown and raised produce from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. each Wednesday from the last week of May through September.
Accepted new rates for the Community Center's fitness room after some concern that the increased fees, designed to be competitive with private businesses in the lakes area, may be high. The fees for 12 months went from $100 to $240. The day pass rose from $3 to $4. Jon Henke, director of parks and recreation, said considerable research went into the fee schedule, taking into consideration hours and amenities. Henke said 70 percent of users from 2004-06 used a day pass for the facility.
Heard that Crosslake Communications purchased new software - Weather Central - for its Channel 12 to provide Crosslake weather at all times. Paul Hoge, general manager, said it won't be like the Weather Channel, with updates on hurricanes or other national weather, but will strictly relate to Crosslake.
Approved hiring Lane Braaten as planner/zoning coordinator at $16.16 per hour plus benefits.
Heard Crow Wing County was concerned about the number of requests for specific service signs in the Crosslake area, specifically at the County Highway 66 and Swan Drive, where requests have come for signs for Town Square businesses. Visual clutter is one reason for concern. Ken Anderson, community development director, said the city will continue to work on the issue with the county.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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