By Barbie Porter
Frazee’s Town Lake Beach is back on the radar of the city council and the park and rec committee.
During the monthly council meeting on Monday, March 15, Frazee City Administrator Denise Anderson said discussions about the area keep returning to reconfiguring the space and installing a new beach house. The work would preferably coincide with the State Highway 87 renovation scheduled for 2022.
Anderson added, when the city’s comprehensive plan was being created, improving the city beach area was a common thread of discussion. Finances are required to achieve the visions of improvement. To help create a design and fill out and submit a grant application, the council hired Widseth Architects and Engineering of Alexandria. The grant being viewed offers a 50-50 match up to $250,000.
It was noted even if the project planning did not yield grant funding, the city would still have a design and layout plan to enhance the beach area. The cost for the services offered by Widseth was stated to be $9,000, plus expenses.
The Wannigan Regional Park plan was reduced in size during a recent park committee meeting.
Anderson, who is part of the park committee, said the group has included input from property owners that reside adjacent to the park. That input helped the committee scale back the project.
The property by the golf course and Chilton Cemetery has been eliminated, for now. The camping areas have also been reduced and trails moved from property lines.
Anderson said there is a platted street and public easement that goes through the property that could be used as an entrance point to the park.
Councilman Mark Flemmer stated he would like the city to withdraw from the project and let the landowner plat the land for development.
Anderson noted if acquisition money is not received through a grant process, that is likely what will happen.
The council approved the new master plan of the park. Flemmer opposed.
In other news
• Flemmer updated the council on the whistle-free zone work being done. He said the crossings along Lake street and Fifth Street NW were still begin reviewed, but the third one on the outskirts of town was removed from the plan. Flemmer explained issues arose about road access. Those working on the project decided to remove that crossing.
For the city crossings, Flemmer said the railroad wanted a site survey done. The cost was estimated to $14,000. Flemmer asked if the cost could be reduced through a virtual study, where he or other city representatives could provide pictures, video or other information needed for the study.
“That took two seconds for them to say no,” Flemmer said.
• The council approved moving council meetings from the event center back to the fire hall beginning in April.
• The council approved a resolution ordering repair, removal or razing of hazardous property at 606 East Main Avenue.
The property is owned by Deborah Chounard and was destroyed in a fire on Jan. 24, 2019. The findings noted the “buildings are open to vandals and not secured from the elements. The roof is open to the elements. There are holes in the buildings. The buildings are an attractive nuisance to children and very dangerous. The buildings are abandoned, have not been adequately maintained and are dilapidated.
If the corrections and repairs are not made within the time period provided, the building is ordered to be razed, the foundations filled and the property left free of debris.
The city attorney explained after the 30 days allotted to fix the issues, another 30 days would be given before a court preceding.
The council approved moving forward with the process.
• The Frazee Fire Department will have its new fire engine much sooner than expected. Frazee Fire Chief Joe Nelson expects to pick up the rig before the end of the month.
Nelson also discussed the department’s capital improvement plan, which was recently updated to go through 2029. He said minor adjustments were made as CARES Act funding allowed the first responders to purchase a few items on the list.
The council also approved a pension increase to those serving on the fire department and who are eligible for the perk. After a few committees met, a $250 increase was recommended. The council approved. Now, firefighters who meet all training requirements will collect $1,900 annually in a pension fund.