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Isanti to enforce even-odd day watering ordinance, and more news

The Isanti City Council voted to enforce an even-odd day watering ordinance in the city due to water shortage concerns.

According to city engineer Jason Cook, drought conditions and water tower work have put a strain on the city’s water usage.

Pump capacity is maxing out, and the maximum daily usage is 46% higher than the city’s water use plan drafted in 2018.

Public works director Matt Sylvester said if there’s no reduction in water usage, rates will go up and capital improvement projects will be needed sooner.

The council voted to budget up to $2,500 to inform residents about the even-odd day code enforcement.

For the next thirty days, anyone found not to be in compliance will receive a reminder from the city.

Pine City residents petition city to fix 14th Street

Pine City residents who live along 14th Street SW are now petitioning the city after they say the roadway has fallen into disrepair.

Resident Barb Dokken, who started the petition, told the council that this has only gotten worse since the last winner.

“Our street is actively hastening the wear and tear on our vehicles,” stated the petition. “Driving on 14th Street SW is a jarring experience and something needs to be done this year. We are asking for our road fixed, not covered up.”

Six houses are accessed by the dead-end road that runs behind the Birchwood Cemetery to the Snake River.

During a public hearing on June 22, Dokken said that she had moved to the property last fall, but she claimed that the road had not been worked on in decades.

“In 1996, the road up to our homes had an overlay but not as far down as we live,” Dokken said.

Another resident stated that during the spring flooding, the roadway had about 13 inches of water on it, which has caused conditions to only get worse within the last few months.

Resident Michael Fisette says the damage to the road is impacting his ability to get important medical supplies. He told the council that during the flooding neither the Post Office nor the other delivery trucks that deliver his important supplies would travel down the dead-end road.

“There is also the possibility that I would need emergency medical care at any time during the day or night, and they probably wouldn't come down the road based on the fact that it was flooded out so bad,” Fisette said.

He went on to tell the council that he considered renting a hotel room in order to ensure that he could maintain his medical needs.

In response, Mayor Carl Pederson said he was sympathetic to the residents.

“It’s horrible to hear how bad it is. We don't have the money to do that right now. I’m not going to lie to you,” said Peterson.

Peterson said that the mill and overlay bids for 2023 came back over $100,000 more than last year for the same coverage area.

Back in April of this year, the city did discuss including 14th Street Southwest and 4th Avenue in their improvement projects for 2023, but at that time, they wanted to wait until 2024 when construction crews would be conducting utility and street work on 10th Street SW.

Dokken asked the council how she could be sure that the city would do the work in 2024 when she has been told by residents construction has been pushed off year after year.

“I can assure you that we are all here and there isn’t going to be an election next year,” Pederson said in response.

Later in the meeting, Mayor Pederson made a motion to direct the city engineer to go back out for mill and overlay bids to include 14th Street and 4th Ave, along with Clark Ave SW and Johnson Ave SW, because the bids they previously received were so high.

Pederson asked staff to look at what the city’s options are financially, so they can make a decision later this summer.

Freedom Fest starts this week in Pine City

Pine City’s annual Freedom Fest celebration begins this week.

A bulk of the pomp and circumstance is held on Saturday, June 24.

There will be live music, food, vendors, and fireworks for community members to stop by and enjoy.

The events during the day have been expanded with the return of The Amazing Race, a ninja obstacle course, and a Pine City Fire Department water ball competition.

To stay up to date on activities and events, you should check out the Pine City Chamber of Commerce website and Facebook page.

Milaca City Council authorizes preparation of plans for street project

The Milaca City Council voted to authorize the preparation of plans for a 2024 street improvement project during this week’s meeting.

The city completed a street evaluation in 2021 to identify the streets most in need of pavement rehabilitation. The project is anticipated to include most of the streets around Trimble Park.

Other major improvements will include a new water main on 1st Street and 2nd Street Northwest, new curb on most of 1st Street, and new sidewalk on the south side of 1st Street.

The project is estimated to cost nearly $2 million.

Final plans and cost estimates will be presented to the council before the project moves to the bidding stage.

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