Isanti offers TIF financial assistance to Pat’s Small Engine and Repair

With the state Legislature having extended the job stimulus tax increment financing (TIF) powers until June 30, the city of Isanti has met with the owner of Pat’s Small Engine and Repair and has reached a tentative agreement to provide TIF assistance.

The project consists of a 2,800 square foot expansion of its existing facility in Isanti Centennial Complex. The cost is estimated at $165,000 and city staff proposed $16,500 in TIF assistance, approximately 10 percent of project costs.

“You have a success story here in Isanti where a business came to town in 2007, has grown and wants to add on,” Economic Development Director Sean Sullivan said during the Isanti City Council meeting Tuesday, May 15.

They estimated the project will result in about $6,000 in new annual taxes and create two or three new jobs with wages between $10 to $12 per hour. According to the written spending plan, construction will start before July 1.

“It’s really exciting seeing a small business that came to town and now needs to expand,” council member Sue Larson said.


City authorizes abatement of property 

owned by BNSF Railway

Following the fire that burned a building to the ground March 31 through April 1 on property owned by BNSF Railway, the city sent a notice of violation for the remains of the building to be cleaned up.

Fencing was placed by the railway company around the site in an attempt to keep people from entering, but the site has not been cleaned.

The city council held a public hearing and passed a resolution to authorize nuisance abatement on the site if debris has not been removed by May 31.


Northern Lights Express (NLX)

Council member Larson led a discussion regarding the Northern Lights Express (NLX), a high-speed passenger train that will run between Minneapolis and Duluth.

The city will send a letter requesting that the NLX meet with the city of Isanti to address safety concerns and the possibility of slowing train speeds during special events in Isanti and Braham, such as Isanti Rodeo and Jubilee Days and Braham Pie Day.


Traffic study completed by Isanti PD

Police Chief Ron Sager reviewed the traffic study recently completed. He said Main Street in downtown Isanti has little concern as the average speed is 23 miles per hour with a speed limit of 30.

The main reasons for the traffic study in downtown Isanti was concerns of people noticing speeding; however, Sager said, the majority of cars were well beneath the speed limit.

Townsedge Road causes more concern, he said. It’s in an isolated area and there are more cars speeding on this road that would get the attention of officers.

The Police Department will now focus their attention on some of the more outlying side streets of Isanti and maintain their presence downtown and on Co. Rd. 5 to keep speeds within a reasonable range.

The traffic-monitoring device is still up and running by the Primary School; next, Sager said he would like to move it to Townsedge Road, followed by Whiskey Road, where some cars have increased their speeds.


In other action:

• Mayor George Wimmer proclaimed June 20, 2012, as Mayor’s Employer Celebration Day.

• The council approved a special event application for the Minnesota State BMX Finals at the Rum River BMX track on Aug. 24 from 5 p.m. until dark, Aug. 25 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Aug. 26 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• The council approved a special event application for the Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce for Jubilee Days, including a parade July 5 and events July 7.

• The council approved a gambling premise permit application from Cambridge Drift Dusters at Northland Gas Station.

• The council amended the city code on parking and storage to state that “no person shall leave or park any recreational vehicle or trailer on any street or the right-of-way.” Previously, vehicles were allowed to be parked for camping purposes.

• The council approved an interim use permit to Minnco Credit Union to allow temporary motor vehicle sales on the property. The sales event is planned for June 15 and June 16.