At Monday night’s Alexandria City Council meeting, the council passed a resolution opening a new street, and took steps to improve another.
The new street is Garden Drive, north of Latoka Drive, and is located within the Green Pastures housing development. The street has been under construction this year and is complete. Mayor Sara Carlson thanked Joan Wenzel and family members who were present for turning it over to the city, which will now be in charge of regular maintenance and repairs.
The other resolution set up a public hearing on street improvements for Deerwood Drive, a 1,830-foot unpaved gravel road. A feasibility report has been prepared for paving the street, and the public hearing is the next step in the assessment process.
Alexandria Aviation manages the activities at the airport for the city and provides an airport manager. On Monday, the city amended its airport lease and management agreement for the first time in more than a decade and extended it to 2021.
The biggest change involved an Alexandria Aviation employee who was also employed part-time by the city of Alexandria. That person will no longer be a city employee, and Alexandria Aviation will be reimbursed by the city for the routine maintenance, mowing and snow removal that is done. That work is estimated to come to $22,500 for 2020.
The big nine
During his budget presentation, City Administrator Marty Schultz listed the nine main elements of the city’s general fund and some data associated with each:
Police department: Answered 18,000 calls in 2018 and issued 1,100 tickets.
Fire department/Emergency management: The fire department, with one full-time chief and 31 volunteers, answered 218 calls in 2018 totaling 5,589 work hours.
Runestone Community Center: Hosted 20 floor shows/events with attendance of over 20,000.
Public Works – Streets: Hauled over 3,000 loads of snow last winter.
Public Works – Parks: Maintains 250 acres covering 24 parks.
Airport: AXN averages 70 operations a day, ranking 13th busiest among the state’s 134 public airports, and is home to more than 60 aircraft and six businesses.
Community development:The building department permitted over $905 million in construction from 2003-2018.
Assessing: Of the 7,084 parcels that could be inspected in the city limits, this department visits 1,416 each year.
Administration/Finance: In 2018, the finance department managed $31 million of cash inflows spread over 51 governmental funds.
Schultz also referenced the Downtown and Plaza municipal liquor stores that operate as a separate, for-profit business. They annually bring in $225,000 in profits that go into the general fund.
The council approved numerous licenses, including:
Brewery taproom, and off-sale and Sunday malt liquor: Copper Trail Brewing.
Liquor store: Cash Wise Liquor.
On-sale beer and wine: Art Bar 39, Grand Arbor, Great Hunan.
Off-sale beer and tobacco: All Stop, Holiday Stationstores, Cub Foods, Speedway, Pilot Travel Center, Simonson Station Stores, Walmart Supercenter.
Off-sale beer: Alexandria Hampton Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites.
Tobacco: Casey’s General Store, Cash Wise Liquor, Cenex, King Tobacco, Walgreens.
Fireworks (inside): Menards, Fleet Farm.
Food truck/vendor: Smokin’ Brews and ‘Ques.
Garbage hauler: Alex Rubbish & Recycling, Tom Kraemer, Osakis Silo Repair Co., Waste Management, West Central Sanitation.
In other matters
The city council:
Set its municipal contribution to the Fire Fighter’s Relief Association at $16,840, and the maximum annual benefit at $8,279, a 2.5% increase from the previous year. No municipal contribution was required in 2018. City Administrator Marty Schultz said the 2.5% increase in the per year benefit will not impact the 2020 budget.
Accepted a recommendation of the Alexandria Charter Commission to amend the Home Rule Charter by ordinance, and hold a public hearing next month.
Amended a revolving loan fund request from Vital Fit Club owners Adam and Jessica Downing for interior and exterior remodeling of the club. The new request is for a 15-year loan for $130,000, which is $30,000 more than the initial request, and is only for the building rehabilitation and not the acquisition of property.
Approved a compensation and classification grid for city employees to reflect a 2.5% increase for 2020.
Set its holiday open house for Thursday, Dec. 19, from 2-4 p.m. at city hall.