Oct 11, 2022 Council Meeting

There is an important election coming up for our city! If you like the direction it's going, pay attention to who's on the ballet and what kind of promises they're making.

If a candidate knocks on your door offering gold rainbows, they're likely NOT telling you what it'll cost you (hint: a new fire station at this time will result in a 34% increase in taxes). Ask them how they'll pay for it and be prepared for silence.

In 5-6 years we'll have a LOT of revenue coming in from the commercial/industrial areas and it'll be MUCH more affordable.

Another hint? Who's backing that candidate?

Ask deliberate questions and wait for clear answers!

If you (or your group) want to talk to me about the election, feel free to email or call and I'll come to you.

Or if you want a sign, please let me know.


County Commissioner Kevin Anderson

Commissioner Anderson and his staff gave us a presentation of what the county is doing with their long term plan. To be honest, none of it seemed to be directed at what they SHOULD be doing, which is focusing on improving transportation overall. Most of what I seen was fluff aimed at Minneapolis and some of the inner suburbs. Their focus away from roads is not at all helpful in the 2nd and 3rd tier suburbs.

I have directly spoken to the commissioner a few times and I believe he understands that we've (the northwest suburbs) been neglected by the county for too long. I have talked to him about the need for the county to correct it's formula for road funding to account for future traffic. They basically wait until there's a problem, and given it can take them 5 years to change direction, that's not a very successful path. It doesn't help that cities give in and often pay for a fix to a county problem with local money. It's clear to me counties get away with that too often.

A couple weeks back I and some city staff had a meeting with the commissioner and directly laid out our concerns about some of the problem areas (81 and Territorial, and Fernbrook) We all agreed a group from Rogers, Maple Grove, Dayton, and possibly the I94 chamber may provide more horsepower to coming up with improvements to that corridor. I believe adding more voices to the issue should bring more pressure for improvements.

Item J (Transportation Discussion)

This was a follow on presentation of some of the meetings regarding where the council wants to go with the roads on the south side (Parkway, Zanzibar, 125th, etc.).

For a short recap, the city's comprehensive plan has had this odd road layout in the transportation portion for over a decade. My understanding is it was the outcome of the county wanting more east-west paths and the most optimum route for traffic volume. "As the crow flies" is clearly the best path for traffic. What it doesn't take into account is how it throws a monkey wrench into everything else. What I believe and have for years, is that our city needs more (by far) north-south routes.

What I think may have added to the mess was staff had a meeting with local residents without the council there. The result was that many of the residents thought it would reduce traffic much earlier than it will. There were a few other misunderstandings during the meeting as well.

To be clear, ANY arrangement of the roads will not help Fernbrook traffic anytime soon. In fact all of the options would not reduce the volume until 2050+ (according to the current plan). And... NONE of the options would help the traffic south of 113th, which is becoming more and more of an issue. ALL of Fernbrook is a problem and will be until the county addresses the road.

One thing Council Member Scott Salonek brought up was the possibility of round-a-bouts on 117th and 125th. These would be paid for by development so they wouldn't go in anytime soon, but they would help with the issue of Fernbrook becoming a raceway. It is possible that the city could work with the county and get one in sooner if it'll be beneficial.

There was also a discussion as to why this wasn't addressed previously. While I was a member of the 2014 comp plan update, the discussion was driven entirely by the then mayor and administrator, other opinions weren't very well received (i.e. ignored). It did come up with the 2019 update, but again the focus was entirely on the interchange and how many acres were going into the 2020 staging area. The 3 road possibilities for this area were on display at the interchange open house (showing the X and other 2 options), and there was a general agreement with the council (I was newly elected to the council) that it needed to be added to the long list of things to look at.

Unfortunately, it was left untouched until I was reminded of it many months ago with a development that was coming up. At that time I convinced the majority (not all) that we needed to fix the issue.

While it was my impression 2 of the council seemed to not want to clean up the X, 3 of us clearly did. At least 2 of the planning commission members have voiced they wanted it changed. The other 3 haven't taken a position as far as I'm aware.

So, the decision was to plan on making a change to the comp plan to clean it up. I believe at a minimum that means connecting Dayton Parkway up to Zanzibar instead of them being legs in the X. Once that happens (post 2050) Dayton will have another major path running north/south.

Item K (water / sewer budgets)

Not much new here. Now that we have our own accountant, he seems to be much more on top of adjustments that need to be made. The company we previously used for our accounting had a habit of charging us for every tweak we asked for.

Item L (Granstrom Park)

Not long ago a resident of Granstrom Orchard spoke to a few other residents and came to the city with the idea of putting in a small kid's park (commonly referred to as a Tot Lot) in the outlot next to the water tower. The original plans for that area showed a possible park. Unfortunately the park commission looked at it and for a number of reasons (topography, neighboring houses, Pineview traffic) the decision was to not go forward with it.

A secondary outlot was looked at (opposite side of Granstrom) and due to primarily topography that was also deemed not a good spot.

While this outcome didn't result in a new park, I always enjoy seeing residents coming to the city with ideas to improve their part, or the entirety, of the city. It doesn't always result in that idea being implemented, but it gets more minds involved in making decisions for our city.


As always, feel free to contact with your opinions regarding these or other issues in our city!