A plan to build a 900-square foot addition, with a basement, at Alomere Health received the Alexandria City Council’s approval Monday night.

The council issued a conditional use permit for the project, which includes a lower level therapy pool to help patients who are dealing with pain, stiffness, swelling and mobility limitations.

The main floor addition will not be finished at this time, according to Alomere. One possibility was mentioned in the permit request – expanding the existing emergency room.

The addition will not change the hospital’s bed capacity.

The pool will be built on the northeast corner of the existing hospital, adjacent to the emergency room exit.

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The permit was approved with three conditions: a building permit must be obtained, a revised drainage plan must be submitted, and Alomere must replace any trees that are removed or mitigate the loss.

In other zoning action, the council denied a request from Douglas and Rachel Selchow to vacate a portion of the Summer Meadows plat and street, south of Scenic Heights Road.

The planning commission cited four reasons for their decision: The street still serves a purpose; the request isn’t consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan; the request isn’t consistent with the character of the surrounding area because it would result in one house on 13 acres when the average lot size is half an acre; and the request would place a financial burden on the city for repeated flushing and maintenance on the existing utility lines.

City gets more pandemic recovery funds

The city of Alexandria will receive a total of $1,510,499 through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The city will get half of that amount in 2021 and the second half next year.

Congress enacted ARPA this past March. It includes $65 billion in recovery funds to help cities across the nation recover from the financial losses caused by the pandemic.

The council authorized city staff to work with Mayor Bobbie Osterberg to make recommendations on how ARPA funds will be spent.

City to get reimbursed for clean-up

The owners of seven parcels of land who failed to maintain their properties will have to reimburse the city for doing it for them.

The work included snow removal, cutting grass and weeds, maintaining trees and shrubs, and removing junk and rubbish. The charges will be included as a one-year special assessment on the property owners’ taxes. The combined amount of the reimbursements is $5,300.

The council voted to certify the city’s charges with the Douglas County Auditor-Treasurer Office.

City is legal sponsor of housing project

The council agreed to authorize the city to act as the legal sponsor for the Twenty08 workforce housing project.

The city and D.W. Jones are partners in the development. The city’s authorization will have no cost impact on the city, according to Administrator Marty Schultz.

Twenty08 Apartments and has an estimated development cost of $9.2 million. The site is 2008 Runestone Ave., north of County Road 82 and west of Birch Avenue, adjacent to the existing Central Lakes Apartments.

The majority of the units, 49 of 62, would be market rate and the others would be for low-income or homeless people. The building will be 73,202 square feet and include a mix of studio, one, two and three bedroom units for workforce housing.

D.W. Jones plans to request an amendment to the existing TIF district if the project gets funding from the state’s workforce housing development program.

If all goes well, D.W. Jones plans to start construction next September and complete the project by June, 2023.

Bids awarded for electric work

Bids were accepted for materials that will improve electrical lines in Alexandria in 2022 and move some of the lines underground.

Three bids were awarded – $218,640 from Irby Utilities in Eagan for switchgear; $353,127 from Border States Electric of Fargo for power cable, and $134,110 from WESCO of Fargo for secondary power cable. The total cost of the bids was about 3% higher than ALP Utilities originally thought but still reasonable, according to Chris Olson, general manager.

ALP Utilities, which recommended the bids, is paying for the distribution improvements with funds from a previous bond issue. The projects will take place near 3M’s main line and the west circuit’s main line between 17th and 4th Avenue.

Bids were also considered for electrical transformers but none were accepted. One bid came in at $519,000, more than triple the estimate of $145,00. Because of supply and demand, the transformers wouldn't have been delivered for 130 weeks, so ALP will use its stockpile of transformers instead.