Upsala takes next steps for southwest development

by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer

The city of Upsala is moving forward on the development of a three-and-a-half acre parcel of land in the southwest part of town. Roach Development has been in conversation with the city for more than a year regarding construction of eight or 16 townhouses at the corner of South Main Street and Walnut Avenue, diagonally across from the high school.

Scott Hedlund of Short Elliott Hendrickson in Brainerd presented a feasibility report to the City Council, Monday. The report outlined street improvements which included water and sewer service.

“There is no planned curb and gutter for that area,” Hedlund said. “The big safety goal in extending Walnut Avenue is to line it up with the street to the east.”

The report proposes closing two current driveways and constructing new access for those lots. Sewer and water service is proposed to be extended to the south along Hillcrest Avenue.

The Council agreed to meet first with Terry Roach to discuss a formal agreement.

“It’s a very common thing to have a development agreement,” Hedlund said. “It lays out who’s paying for what.”

The city plans to host a public information meeting in December, with a public hearing to follow in January 2014.

Upsala City Council Briefs

Other business that came before the Upsala City Council Monday included:

• Learning that the Council certified assessing nine properties due to unpaid utility bills. Six of the nine accounts were certified in 2012;

• Discussing the removal of an aged tree in the southeast corner of the park and its replacement. “A tree’s a good investment,” said Maintenance Supervisor Frank Koopmeiners;

• Approving a pre-buy service agreement with Ameri-Gas, locking in a rate of $1.59 per gallon;

• Hearing that Interim City Clerk Reva Mische is talking to the state about having the crosswalks painted. “We talked about having a Sentenced-to-Serve crew do it, but there were not enough people this year,” said Mayor Rollie Johnson. The city needs to locate feasible locations for more crosswalks, which will likely be done by spring; and

• Brainstorming to make a list of the city’s priorities for 2014, including such things as housing on the south side of town, cleaning up the nature trail behind Borgstrom Park, bringing an assisted living facility to town and building a snowmobile bridge across the river.

The next regular meeting of the Upsala City Council will be Monday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. in the city offices.