Swanville approves rezoning of Springbrook Drive/First Street

The Swanville City Council approved rezoning the first nearly 300 feet of a corner lot from industrial to high density residential.

The decision came after a public hearing Tuesday, about rezoning the corner lot at Springbrook Drive and First Street/County Road 102 in Swanville from industrial to high density residential.

Mayor Sandy Lange said the city is considering selling the lot to developers Tim and Linda Dally of Sauk Centre, who want to build a four-plex housing development.

Originally, the Dallys had hoped to have four separate driveways off of County Road 102 to the development. The plan was not approved by Morrison County Engineer Steve Backowski, because of the safety risk involved with a county road. Instead, one access road would need to be built, that would belong to the city.

John Blais, who owns property across the lot on First Street asked where the road would be built and at what angle it would be put in.

Lange said the road would most likely go slightly east of Berkey Avenue, but exactly where would be determined at a later time. She reminded visitors that the public hearing was only about rezoning the lot from industrial to high density residential.

Corey DeFoe, who lives across the lot on Springbrook Drive, asked the Council how changing the definition of the land would affect property taxes for other residents in the future.

“I’m not sure how it would impact it,” Lange said. “You’re still going to stay residential and this area would be high density, so it wouldn’t affect yours.”

Since the city owns the lot and the land north up to the property where RMI Rotomolding is located, Blais asked if the city was planning to build paved roads in that area to help the city develop that land.

“Not at this time,” Lange said.

Several years ago, the city considered putting in roads, water and sewer in that area, but that would cost several million, Lange said.

“Everything is so expensive. It’s hard to get any funding just to do it. You have to have something coming in to get helped,” she said. “You have to build first to get the help.”

Bringing water and sewer to the new property, Lange said, would be done alongside the road that will be built. Should the city at some point sell the next lot, a road, sewer and water would be easily accessible to build from.

Since installing water and sewer to the corner lot would need to cross First Street/ County Road 102, DeFoe asked how accessible the county road would be.

“How long would it take?” he said.

City Engineer Mark Hallen said that it was likely only one lane would be shut down. He anticipated it would take about a day to a day and a half to finish the project.

“The south side of County Road 102 would be dug to replace the manhole. I anticipate that we are not going to physically dig a trench all across County 102,” he said.

Instead, Hallen said he anticipated doing a directional bore, which would be more cost effective.

Hallen said the next step is to wait on Jordan Lee, a funding specialist with Widseth, Smith and Nolting in Baxter, to meet with the Dallys to find out the costs of developing the four-plex. This is part of a grant application the city will be submitting to the state of Minnesota.

Hallen also said that part of the application is for the city to show that it has the support of local businesses to continue with this project.

Swanville City Council Briefs

Swanville City Council Briefs

In other business Tuesday, the Swanville City Council:

  • Approved to budget a donation for 2017 of $500 to the Community Development of Morrison County;
  • Approved an agreement with American Red Cross to allow the use of the Swanville Center for meetings and as shelter for emergencies. This agreement is dependent on additional approval by the Senior Center Board;
  • Approved a land use permit for Duane Johnson to replace his storage shed;
  • Approved Mayor Sandy Lange to sign an agreement between the city and the Great River Regional Library for continued use of the city’s library building, provided there is no questionable language in the agreement; and
  • Scheduled a public hearing in regard to tax increment financing (TIF) for RMI Rotomolding. RMI has proposed to expand its existing manufacturing facility by 9,600 square feet and to construct a 1,440 square foot shop and repair facility to warehouse product, customer molds and more. Significant sitework is also needed to accommodate the new facilities. The hearing will be held before the Council’s next regular meeting at 6:30 p.m.

The Swanville City Council’s next regular meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Swanville Center.