Nuisance enforcement in Isanti to be handled by planning and parks director

By Elizabeth Sias

The police department is no longer in charge of nuisance enforcement in Isanti.

That responsibility now falls to Lisa Wilson, the Planning and Parks Director, a position formerly called the City Planner/Parks Coordinator.

The Isanti Redbirds presented the trophy and commemorative baseball bat they received for winning the State Championship during the Isanti City Council meeting Sept. 20. Pictured, from left, are Redbirds Field Manager Dave Englund; Redbirds Manager Steve Allen; Isanti Mayor George Wimmer; and Redbirds player Tyler Schaff. “Thank you for backing us. It’s been a long journey of 10 years,” noted Steve Allen. Mayor Wimmer thanked the Redbirds for providing baseball games free of charge to the public and said he looks forward to many more years working with the team. Photo by Elizabeth Sias

“She’s been with the city for over five years and has done a fantastic job for us,” Mayor George Wimmer said during the Isanti City Council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 20.

Historically when formalized, nuisance enforcement was conducted through the building department, with the building inspector acting as the nuisance enforcement officer. With the elimination of the building inspector position in 2008, nuisance enforcement was shifted to the police department, and a part-time position of code enforcement officer (CSO) was added to inspect and manage the program.

At that time, the type of nuisance prioritized by the city council including abating blighted nuisance sites and nuisance weed and grass ordinance enforcement. Within the past year, while still abating weed and grass nuisances, the type of other nuisances have shifted to more property upkeep and zoning situations.

After review, council members approved the proposal to have the City Planner/Parks Coordinator administer the program. Since the position is also involved in property code enforcement and zoning administration, they said it would be a better fit for the CSO to work under that position.

Because the position is changing to a supervisory position, the position, its job duties and compensation were also reviewed, and the title will be changed to Planning and Parks Director.

Along with supervising the CSO, Wilson will also oversee the code enforcement program, be further involved in budget administration for the parks and planning department, and have a salary increase of $150 per month.

Rum River Meadows Park Expansion

City council members authorized the city of Isanti to purchase three lots for $6,000 each adjacent to Rum River Meadows Park from the park dedication fund and will convert the lots from residential to public park land for tax purposes beginning in 2012.

Future park improvements and expansions include updating the irrigation system and purchasing sod for the land.

In other action, the council:

• Approved the conditional use permit by Stephen Tunell, on behalf of Air Systems Technology Inc. to allow for a mixed use building at 212 1st Avenue NW. Currently, a small portion of the first floor is being used as office space with the remainder used for storage. The petitioner indicated they may consider commercial office rental in the future, and is also proposing to rent out the existing three-bedroom apartment on the second floor.

• Approved the request from Steve Flage on behalf of The RiverBank for a one-year extension for the preliminary plat for Fairway Greens Phase 3.

• Approved the placement of a temporary 4-foot by 8-foot sign for the Isanti County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon at the Isanti Police Department and waived the sign permit application fee.

• Accepted the offer of the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority to purchase a $755,920 general obligation water revenue note of 2011 for the water system improvement projects.

• Passed a resolution approving a military discount of 10 percent on Tuesdays at the Isanti Liquor Store to people with a military I.D.