City of Bigfork

Planning and Zoning Commission Regular Meeting March 2, 2010 6:00 p.m. City Council Chambers

Members Present: Gus David, Mayor Roger Logdahl, Ann McGarry and Richard Salmi

Members Absent: Lonnie Kacon and Amy Tendrup (resigned)

Also Present: City Clerk/Treasurer Michael McKinney

David called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

Approval of the February 2, 2010 Regular Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting Minutes

Motion by McGarry, second by Logdahl, to approve the February 2, 2010 Regular Planning & Zoning Commission meeting minutes as submitted, motion carried unanimously (MCU).

City Clerk/Treasurer McKinney noted that the only change between the Planning & Zoning Commission’s version of the Five-Year Project Plan and the plan adopted by the City Council is that the City Council’s alternative moved work on South Rajala Mill Road to 2012.

Logdahl noted that Tim Johnson did receive a commitment of $5,000 from the Blandin Foundation for work on the City’s Comprehensive Plan. City Clerk/Treasurer McKinney noted that Tim Johnson was working with the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission to bring in another $6,000 for the project as well as with Iron Range Resources for additional funding. McKinney added that the total project cost was estimated at $15,000.

Bigfork RiverWalk Proposal

City Clerk/Treasurer McKinney described the proposed project, which would add a walking path along the Bigfork and Rice Rivers. Logdahl asked if this pathway would continue to the golf course. McKinney noted that the hospital preferred that this path only lead to the hospital campus and not onto it.

David felt that there was not enough space to put a path along the river. He also felt that the environmental impact of this trail upon the river may become an issue since the State was committed to preserving wetlands.

City Clerk/Treasurer McKinney noted that the proposal would be to have the trail go behind the body shop along the river. He also noted that there was interest in keeping the trail open year-round for users from the hospital and the school.

Logdahl felt that it was important for the City to keep track of the planning process for this project so residents would be able to provide input on what is proposed.

David felt that this project would be a good feature for the City.

Salmi noted that hospital employees currently use the street system to travel between the hospital and downtown.

Logdahl felt that the proposed trail should connect to the golf course and potentially provide access to motorized vehicles such as golf carts. City Clerk/Treasurer McKinney noted that the trail would likely only be open to non-motorized forms of transportation.

City Clerk/Treasurer McKinney also noted that the hospital was a primary driving force behind the project and added that the current proposal did not involve City funding except perhaps for snow removal if the trail is open year-round.

No formal action was taken on this agenda item.

Water, Sewer, and Streetlight Ordinance Updates

City Clerk/Treasurer McKinney described the proposed updates to the City’s water, sewer and streetlight ordinances. He added that those updates cover both certification of unpaid balances in December as well as disconnection of water service in April. He noted that those updates included establishing a preliminary roll of individuals affected, providing notification of what action will follow for those individuals and providing those individuals with an opportunity to address the City Council regarding the proposed action. He added that the City Attorney reviewed the existing ordinances and suggested the included changes. McKinney also added that the language regarding disconnection of sewer service was removed since it is not possible to disconnect sewer lines. He also noted that eleven customers are currently subject to disconnection in April.

David noted that the City Council would ultimately be responsible for ordering these disconnections. Salmi added that it was important for the Council to address these issues before taking action to disconnect water service in April.

City Clerk/Treasurer McKinney noted that he can still follow the procedures laid out in the proposed ordinance changes if the Commission would prefer to have another month to review the changes. He added that the language used in these changes came from a model ordinance provided by the League of Minnesota Cities.

Motion by Logdahl, second by Salmi, to approve the proposed water, sewer and streetlight ordinance updates as submitted, MCU.

Other Business

David asked that the City Clerk/Treasurer contact Minnesota Power to find out how much it would cost residents if Minnesota Power directly owned and operated the streetlight utility. He felt that the cost of maintaining the services was too high for City residents and believed it might cost less if the power company took over responsibility for the utility.

Salmi added that it would be a good idea to talk to Bigfork Township to ask if they would be interested in sharing the cost of the streetlight utility in areas where Township residents live along streets with streetlights currently in place.

Logdahl noted that it was important to identify areas to cut in case the City’s revenues do not meet expectations.

Salmi noted that the City should investigate whether the trailer home on the Logger’s property is currently hooked up to the City’s water and sewer system. David added that his primary concern was if the trailer home was supplied by well water but had the sewer line feeding into the City’s sanitary sewer system since sewer service is not metered.

David noted that due to the resignation of Amy Tendrup from the Planning & Zoning Commission that the Commission should consider adding a new member. Logdahl felt that Salmi should be added as a full-time member since he is already an alternate on the Commission. Salmi noted that he had no issue with this change. Logdahl also felt that the current membership was sufficient since the Commission would maintain five members.

David asked if anyone had interest in serving as Commission chair when he is not available. McGarry expressed interest in and was granted the position.

City Clerk/Treasurer McKinney added that he received a call from Mary Zielke at the Riverside Home, who had expressed interest in adding a pitched roof to the current building.


The Planning & Zoning Commission meeting was adjourned by David at 6:48 p.m. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 6 p.m.

Michael McKinney City Clerk/Treasurer