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Monday, July 27, 2015

Hampton to help Hastings apartments

Cannon Falls Beacon by Sandy Hadler

Hampton's City Council approved a request from Augustana Care Center asking them to be the conduit issuer for an apartment complex that Augustana owns in Hastings. Augustana's attorney, Aaron Youngdahl, was at the July 14 Hampton City Council meeting. He explained that this process will allow Augustana to cut costs and avoid using up its bank qualifications. Augustana will pay a fee for the financial services provided by Hampton. Tammy Hase, Housing Director at Park Ridge, was also in attendance. 

The history of the project was explained as follows: The housing finance program is being undertaken by Hampton for the refinancing of the rental housing development located adjacent to Augustana Homes of Hastings at 901 West 165 Street in Hastings.

The development was originally financed in 2001 by an issue of revenue bonds by the Housing and Redevelopment Authority. It will be refinanced with revenue notes issued by Hampton in accordance with a joint powers agreement between Hampton and the City of Hastings. 

The development is owned and operated by Augustana Apartments of Hastings, which is a Minnesota nonprofit corporation doing business as Park Ridge Apartments, which is the borrower. Originally, the project consisted of the acquisition, construction and equipping of 80 independent senior housing units. Some additional improvements to the development will be financed by the issuance of the notes by Hampton. 

There are 38 one-bedroom units that will rent from $1,073 to $1,343; 17 one-bedroom plus den units that will rent for $1,571-$1,615, and 25 two-bedroom units that will rent for $1,646-$1,943 a month. 

The development is available for rental to the general public. It will be operated as a rental housing facility for the term of the revenue notes. Hampton will issue revenue notes to refinance the development in the aggregate principal amount, but not to exceed $7,500,000. 

Resolution 2015-06 was approved by Hampton's city council for the issuance and sale of housing revenue refund notes, and authorizing the execution of documents relating to and approval of a joint powers agreement for the Augustana apartment project.

Complaint

Councilor Amanda Jensrud reviewed the city's bills. All were approved, except for a bill the city had received from Siewerts Towing for removing an abandoned vehicle from Main Street. The vehicle had been there for three years and actually had a tree growing out of it. No one knew who it belonged to.

Councilor Dave Luhring, who is responsible for ordinance enforcement in Hampton, had contacted the police because the vehicle was in violation of the city's ordinance. He had the vehicle removed by Siewerts Towing.

Luhring said, "I don't understand why the city is being billed for towing of the vehicle. The sheriff was notified because the parked vehicle was in violation of the city's ordinance and it should have been towed at the owner's expense. I'm confused why the city has been billed for it." He noted that he had heard the Mayor had indicated the city would take care of it. 

Mayor Tim Skog responded, "I don't know why. A lady called and said her vehicle had been stolen." He said he had explained to her that Siewerts had towed the vehicle. She said she had not been told the vehicle had been towed, and that she would not pay for the towing. When she threatened a law suit, Skog agreed to have the car brought back.

He said, "It was a knee jerk reaction. I tried to call a bunch of people here (at city hall) and no one answered. I won't take the heat for it. I say let's take care of the bill." 

Jerry Huddelston said, "You don't have to necessarily react and do what people tell you to do. We have people on the council with experience with these things." 

Skog responded, "It is a lesson learned." 

Councilor Amanda Jensrud told Skog, "It was agreed upon that Dave is in charge of ordinance compliance. You should have let him take care of it." 

Skog said that written notice should have been given to the resident. It was pointed out that no one knew who the vehicle belonged to, and that Luhring had contacted the police and followed the proper procedure. 

Councilor John Knetter responded, "Let's ask the resident to pay half." It was agreed to do so.

Luhring said, "But I think we are on the hook for the $160 bill. I'll double check."

In other business:

*A meeting was set to review the 2016 preliminary city budget. It was scheduled for Tuesday, August 11 at 6:30 p.m., prior to the monthly council meeting.

*Deputy Sheriff Matt Lohmann reported that there have been a number of car thefts and burglaries in Hastings recently. He urged Hampton residents to take their valuables out of their cars, and to park their vehicles in a garage, if possible, and to lock them. While Hampton "has been quiet since the fourth of July," according to Lohmann, he urged everyone to be aware of the threat of thefts occurring in the area. 

Marlin Reinardy told him there had been a couple of recent thefts from cars near the apartment building in town and behind Roundup Bar. He asked if the deputies could patrol those areas between 2 and 5 a.m. when the break-ins had occurred. Lohmann said he would order extra patrols.

City Engineer's report

Reinardy noted that City Engineer Cory Bienfang was unable to attend the meeting, and had left information with him about the Main Street project. Beinfang had told him that the contractor would begin work by the end of the month, to eliminate the flooding that occurs on Main Street after heavy rain storms.

Water/sewer report

Reinardy gave the water/sewer report for Dan Hines. He said the annual sewer permit application is due by September 1, and it is a complicated process, which he has already worked on for four hours. He estimated that it will take another six or more hours to complete.

Reinardy announced that due to personal circumstances, Hines will be resigning from his water/sewer operator position as soon as the city can find a replacement. Reinardy asked that the city hire a local person, as it is important that whoever fills the position live nearby the sewer plant.

He thanked Mike Thurmes and Dan Hines for volunteering to trim the trees in the park and for helping him remove a downed tree.

Park report

Councilor Huddelson gave an update on the master park plan. He said the plan is on track and that the city's park planner will be contacted to put together a scoping project. After it is completed, the council will vote on awarding the project.

Streets report

Luhring reiterated that the Main Street project would begin by the end of the month.

Trash and recycling

The city's trash and recycling receptacles were discussed. There was some disagreement on whether to stay with the current system, where Melanie Marthaler dumps the city's cans into Dakota County's receptacles for disposal, or to get a dumpster to dump them into, which was suggested by Skog, as a cost savings measure. Reinardy said he was not in favor of getting a dumpster, as it would fill up every two weeks, and he wondered who would take care of it. No decisions were made concerning how to proceed. The issue will be discussed further at the next meeting. 

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