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Afton City Council briefs from July 16

2013 bridge inspections approved

Afton City Council approved the city's 2013 bridge inspections during its July 16 meeting.

Bridge inspections are required every year by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

There will be a total of five bridges included in the 2013 bridge inspections at a cost of $852 per bridge for a total cost of $4,260.

Facility plan approved

Afton City Council accepted a wastewater facility plan during its July 16 meeting.

The plan, which details the city's proposed communal subsurface wastewater treatment system, is required in order to obtain Public Facilities Authority grant funding through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The proposed system, detailed in the wastewater facility plan, would be a cluster system and include a large subsurface wastewater treatment system, which is essentially a larger version of what an individual home is currently served by.

The proposed wastewater treatment system consists of a recirculating gravel filter and nitrogen reduction process designed to meet secondary treatment levels of contaminants.

After going through these treatment processes, the treated water will recharge the local groundwater aquifer through infiltration beds.

The system is proposed to be located at 2318 St. Croix Trail South, the center two to three acres on a 25-acre site.

City to seek grant

Afton CIty Council approved the submission of a grant application during its July 16 meeting.

The grant, a point source implementation grant through the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority, will go toward the city's proposed wastewater treatment system for the Old Village.

Pay request approved

Afton City Council approved a pay request for its 50th Street overlay project during its July 16 meeting.

The pay request from Hardrives Inc. is the first of two.

City Council approved a total amount of $79,306.30 to be paid to the firm.

City Council waives noise ordinance

Afton City Council approved the waiver of its noise ordinance for an outdoor wedding occurring on Sept. 7.

Danielle Williams, who lives at 14002 50th Street South, made the request, which was approved July 16.

City ordinance states amplified music must not be audible at the property line after 10 p.m.

Williams' request stated that music will be played until midnight.

During the meeting, staff presented City Council with signed consent from all neighboring properties.

City Council requesting accelerated timeline for county road project

Afton City Council approved a request to seek an accelerated timeline for Washington County's County Road 21 reconstruction project, which is the main road through Afton's Old Village, in order to better align the project with Afton's Old Village projects.

Construction was initially slated to begin in 2015, however the timeline was delayed to 2016 based on funding shortfalls.

However, based on that initial timeline, City Council drafted its contract with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for its flood mitigation grant to state that projects will be taking place in 2015.

City Council's request, made July 16, to accelerate the county's project to the initial timeline of 2015 is so several of its projects, specifically levy elevation, installation of sanitary lines and addressing drainage, can occur at the same time as the County Road 21 project.

"The more it drags out the more it's going to end up costing," City Engineer Diane Hankee said.

Hankee said Washington County has indicated a willingness to work with the city to accelerate the project.

Volunteers needed for County Road 21 design committee

During its July 16 meeting, Afton City Council approved the solicitation of volunteers to serve on a County Road 21 Project Design Review Committee being organized by Washington County.

City Council will advertise for volunteers in the city newsletter as well as through door knocking.

Afton is allowed between six and eight representatives to the committee.

City Council is hoping to have representatives who either live or work in Afton's Old Village, where County Road 21 runs through, as well as representatives from the city's Design Review/Heritage Preservation Commission, Planning Commission, Parks Committee, City Council and city staff.

New security system approved

Afton City Council approved a bid from Floyd Security for a security system upgrade at City Hall.

The total cost for the upgrade, approved July 16, will be $8,259 and will include an upgrade to the City Hall computer server, its exterior doors and will install a card reader in the city administrator's office.

Budget work session scheduled

During the July 16 meeting, Afton CIty Council scheduled its first 2014 budget work session for Aug. 12.

The work sessions will tentatively be held at either 1 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. based on the city accountant's availability.

St. Croix River Awareness Week recognized

Afton City Council approved a resolution during its July 16 meeting proclaiming July 13-21 as "St. Croix River Awareness Week."

The resolution was presented to City Council by the St. Croix River Association.

Cedar Bluff setbacks remain the same

Afton City Council opted against a request from Cedar Bluff Homestead to change its setbacks during its July 16 meeting.

Last month the Cedar Bluff developers requested a review since the setbacks required in the agricultural district wouldn't necessarily fit with the clustered housing development, located off of Manning Avenue and 22nd Street, since the lot sizes are smaller than what is typically allowed in the zoning district.

The required setbacks are 105 feet from the front lot line, 50 feet from the back line and 50 feet from the side line.

However, after reviewing the plat, City Administrator Ron Moorse said he determined that all lots should be able to meet the setback requirements with the exception of maybe one or two properties.

"In general we don't need to make wholesale changes," Moorse said.

"We'll deal with those particular lots when they come in," Mayor Pat Snyder added.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

(651) 702-0976