City Council gives nod to bond issue

Published 10:21 am Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Albert Lea City Council on Monday approved opening the sale of $5.4 million in bonds to be used to pay for major city projects from 2012 and 2013.

The bonds will provide funds for the Broadway reconstruction, street and sidewalk projects on Fourth Avenue, a neighborhood improvement project in the Shoreland Heights neighborhood, West Ninth Street improvements and a portion of the Myers Road improvements.

Rebecca Kurtz of Ehlers & Associates said the bond sale will be awarded Aug. 26 and will be for 10 years. The bonds will be classified as permanent improvement revolving fund bonds.

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Kurtz asked the city to consider changing the risk agency that would review the city for the bond issue.

Third Ward Councilor George Marin voted against.

In other action, the City Council:

• Called a public hearing for the development of a new tax increment finance district for the construction of a new building on East Main Street at the existing Pro Manufacturing.

• Approved the first reading of an ordinance that would rezone four properties on Plaza Street from an Interstate Development District to a I-1 Limited Industrial District.

The request to rezone comes as an excavating company is interested in coming to town.

Albert Lea Economic Development Agency Executive Director Dan Dorman said his agency started talking to city officials about the issue in April.

City councilors told the company’s owner that though they know it can sometimes be frustrating how long it takes to get issues through local governments, they hoped he knew that they do want his business in Albert Lea.

Discussion has centered around outside storage and billboards.

The issue is still being reviewed by the Albert Lea Planning Commission.

• Approved a currency exchange license for Reyes Multiservices Inc., 101 S. Newton Ave.

• Authorized the purchase of a Larue D50 loader mounted snow blower for $124,000. The snowblower is used to clear the downtown snow and for widening streets during the winter season.

The current snow blower will be traded in.

• Approved a special event permit for Mike and Vicki Larson to have their annual family food shelf fundraiser at their home on Aug. 17.

• Heard a review of the city’s 2012 financial statements from a representative from the CliftonLarsonAllen firm.

• Approved waiving the building permit and landfill fees for the 2013 Shinefest Rocking the Block event.

• Authorized the acquisition of three tax forfeited properties along the south end of town.

• Accepted two donations to the city.

The first donation was for two benches that will be placed in Sondergaard Park. The second was for two Pickelball net systems to be used at the City Arena.