Preliminary plat for more housing approved by council

by April Scheinoha

    The Thief River Falls City Council has approved the preliminary plat for Ness’ Third Addition. It was approved at the council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 19.
    William and Henrietta Ness plan to subdivide a 40.71-acre parcel into five parcels along the Red Lake River in Section 35 of North Township. The parcel is located near 165th Street Northeast and 157th Avenue Northeast. The city has the authority to review subdivisions within a two-mile radius of the city limits.
    The council approved a petition to examine and possibly construct a flood damage diversion project for parts of Pennington County Ditch 70 and CD 1. The petition is subject to the review of City Attorney Delray Sparby. The Pennington County Board also plans to sign the petition, which will be presented to the Red Lake Watershed District.
    This ditch system runs along Highways 1 and 59 to Barzen Avenue, and along the properties belonging to Digi-Key and Arctic Cat. It outlets along Greenwood Street to the Red Lake River. In the past, this system has flooded and caused damage. The ditch system also doesn’t have the capacity needed for anticipated growth and expansion in the southwest part of Thief River Falls.
    Acting Public Works Director Mark Borseth said the petition will enable the RLWD to start working on the details of the project, including the pursuit of grant funding.
    City Council approved the 2017 Snow Removal Policy. Borseth said the city’s policy was merged with one recommended by the League of Minnesota Cities.
    Under the policy, snow or ice control operations will begin at a scheduled starting time of 2 a.m. Operations will commence when snow accumulation is two inches or more, drifting snow causes problems for travel, icy conditions seriously affect travel and/or the time of snowfall happens to coincide with heavy use of the streets.
    Central Business Area roadways will be plowed first, and then main arteries will be plowed. While those areas are being cleaned, municipal parking lots will be cleaned as per the city’s calendar parking ordinance. Then alleyways will be cleaned in the Central Business Area.
    After that time, streets and avenues will be cleared according to the calendar parking ordinance. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, avenues, including Red Lake Boulevard, will be cleared. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, streets, courts, cul-de-sacs, drives and lanes will be plowed.
    In the event of an unusually heavy snowfall, a 10-yard truck with a one-way plow will assist in opening all city streets and avenues as soon as possible.
    The council approved promoting School Resource Officer Andy Hart to the position of juvenile investigator. As part of that resolution, the council also approved back-filling the resulting vacancies. Hart succeeds Ginger Alby, who recently joined the Bismarck, N.D., Police Department.
    The council declared the costs to be assessed for the 2017 Street and Utilities Improvement Project and ordered the preparation of the assessment roll. Borseth said the amount is $481,459.97.
    In a separate, related motion, the council approved holding the assessment hearing Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
    Mayor Brian Holmer proclaimed Thursday, Sept. 28 as Neil Carlson Day in Thief River Falls.
Holmer noted that Carlson delivered the Radio Gram for 17 years and has since retired. A celebration for Carlson will be held Sept. 28, from 5 to 8 p.m., at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2793.
    In the proclamation, Holmer said Carlson has showed courage throughout his life. He noted that Carlson remains upbeat and positive. Holmer added that Carlson inspires others to overcome their challenges.
    Holmer read aloud the results of a performance evaluation of Water Systems Superintendent Wayne Johnson. The council conducted the evaluation in a closed meeting two weeks earlier.
    Holmer read that Johnson is informed and knowledgeable about his job duties. He said Johnson communicates well with the public and contractors. Holmer added that Johnson is prepared for future issues.
    The council approved an on-sale intoxicating liquor license for the Norskies. Council member Rachel Prudhomme abstained from voting since she is employed by the Norskies.
    The next council meeting is scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.