Oct 24th, 2023 Council Meeting

Agenda (click to open)

View the meeting (click to open)

Current Events

  • If you or people in your area want to meet and discuss any topics on your mind, reach out to me and we will set up a time to visit.
  • If you hear something you're curious to know more about, contact me
  • The work on the new treatment facility for the central system is going to start soon.
  • The Old Village water tank (inside the well house) will be undergoing some cleaning and maintenance in the next couple of weeks.

Item H (Water and Sewer Budgets)

Not much here, other than rates will go up less than in the past. Water and sewer rates will go up by 1%.

Dayton continues to be one of the more expensive cities in the area for water but it's moving in the right direction.

Use fees go towards normal maintenance and ongoing costs. New water equipment is typically paid for by development. The new pump 5 and the central system treatment facility will be paid for out of the current funds we have saved up and a federal $4M grant, which is good... since it's likely housing will drop significantly next year.

Item I (Enclave Apartments Concept Plan)

This is the 3rd plan presented to the city for the land on the northeast corner of Territorial and 81. That area has a few issues. The primary one that concerns most of us is the intersection itself. It has a bad approach and it really needs traffic lights. We have a way to fix the approach, but the cost of adding lights (assuming the county will even allow it) is likely to push $2M. Though it's a country road, our experience with the county is that we would have to pay for it. The money they COULD put into it is going into a light rail black hole. I'm not very inclined to put any city money into county roads at this point.

The other major issue with this development is it's not in very good financial shape which means the quality isn't at the level we'd like to see.

I suspect this development won't be going forward.

My overall view is we will have a hard time adding residential development in that area without some way to fund changes to that intersection.

Item J (Dayton Fields 4th Addition)

This is a preliminary plat for an industrial development at 121st and West French Lake road. The 2 properties will eventually be home to Q.T. Commercial, a roofing company relocating from Brooklyn Park, and J & A Glass, a window and mirror installer relocating from Rogers. The only items under discussion were the screening for some storage and landscaping.  Given what's on the property now and its location they were requesting a reduction in the amount of landscaping required, which we granted.

Item K (Overlook Road Land Split)

This was a fairly simple property split for a property on the east end of the road.

Item L (Stephens Park Turn Lanes)

Though we now have a primary entrance into the park, the speed and volume of traffic on the river road makes for a bit of a hazard getting in and out. This item was to authorize engineering work to start design on turn lanes for that entrance. The goal is to get this work done to coincide with the county's resurfacing of the river road.

Item M (Well House #5)

This item allows the final design work on our next well. The well will sit on Pioneer Parkway in the River Walk development and help feed the new treatment facility going in on the central water system.

Item N (Levee Street Property)

For such a small property, this has generated quite a mess regarding time, process, and wasted effort. It's also a taste of what can happen when a city administrator (NOT our current one) decides to do things without following the normal process.

The property is a tax-forfeit property from 10 or more years back. The area it's in is planned as "mixed use" (i.e. town homes). That designation was put into place about 14 years ago. The property could be used for parking but there is nothing in the area that needs parking. About 2 years or so back the city decided to put it on the market. Unfortunately, the administrator at that time posted the property incorrectly as single family. I pointed his out but by then it was already out there.

Dayton's EDA (Economic Development Authority) was supposed to handle and fund the project. They did handle the bulk of it but at some point we ran it through our new attorney and she made it clear we needed to start over with the correct posting.

Other factors?

  • We were in the midst of switching our city attorney
  • There is an ongoing debate as to the state statute that says governments can't profit from tax forfeit properties
  • Hennepin County (which routinely ignores this statute) got spanked recently by the U.S. supreme court for exactly that; keeping the profit on tax forfeited properties. They immediately put a freeze on all tax forfeit properties until they know what the ramifications are. (Now the court needs to look at forfeiture laws, which I also believe are not allowed under the 5th amendment).

Given the state statute on not making money on tax forfeited properties, our attorney made the determination that the winning bid couldn't be based on price. The selling price needed to match what the value of the property is estimated at. This meant the winning bid would be based on the quality of the project.

So... that posting went out and we received what was basically 2 bids. One was to develop the property with a common driveway alongside the building with 3 town homes. The other project would combine this property with the one next to it (alongside Dayton Ave) which would allow an alleyway from Dayton Ave due west behind the homes and both properties would develop per the planned use.

The EDA looked at these offers but then decided they would recommend not accepting either bid until this "profit" question could be answered.

So this agenda item was to accept the EDA recommendation or to pick one of the bids.

Given the combination of the supreme court decision and our attorney's recommendation, the council (5-0) decided the amount of profit wasn't worth the time or risk so we went forward with awarding the bid. By a 5-0 vote the bid chosen was the project that combined the properties. While there were a number of reasons it was accepted, the more efficient use of the properties was the primary reason.

On a side note, at some point in the next couple of years the city will revisit the planned land use in the Old Village. A lot of residents (me included) don't like the blanket "mixed use" designation. That designation allows commercial, townhomes, and quads in the entire Old Village. Other than Levee street (due to the river and park) I think the majority of the area should be planned for single family. Some exceptions might include very limited commercial (grocery store?) or possibly assisted living east of the church.

As usual feel free to contact me with your opinions and questions.