Addressing system discussed at Isanti City Council

The Isanti City Council heard a report from representatives during its Sept. 18 meeting from the Metropolitan Emergency Services Board (MESB) regarding the possibility of changing and updating city of Isanti addresses.

MESB provides support for the public safety of residents throughout the state of Minnesota by managing the public radio system, managing the regional 911 system and coordinating the regional emergency medical services (EMS) system.

A geographic information system (GIS) is used to coordinate the effort for the region, and Isanti County has been working with a GIS 911 consultant and representatives from MESB to update all the addresses throughout the county.

Their goal is to ensure that addresses and locations are accurately reflected within the GIS and ensure the correct emergency services are dispatched to the correct location in emergencies.

While updating addresses, discrepancies have been noted in the city of Isanti, particularly along County Road 5. For instance, a MESB representative said a 1000 block would appear along a roadway, followed by a 2000 block, but then followed by another 1000 block on the same roadway—rather than numbers following a numerical sequence.

On County Road 5, the GIS consultant and MESB identified some areas with overlapping or inconsistent numbering.

In her report to the city council, the MESB representative said the inconsistencies make it difficult to map and ultimately to dispatch emergency services to the correct address. In some cases, the computer may find two locations for the same address, which can result in misrouted calls and a delay in services.

There were 106 County Road 5 addresses, with 73 addresses on County Road 5 within Isanti city limits, that were identified as areas of concern.

As a solution, the MESB, along with Chris Caulk from the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department, recommended the city council considers changing some street names and modifying house numbers for those areas identified.

Isanti Mayor George Wimmer said he would like to see the cities, townships and county work together to come to a consensus before making a final decision.

“I really want everybody talking about this at the same time,” Wimmer said.

Caulk said the county has been working with MESB for over a year.

“We’ve been working it out with the county and townships thus far and pulling the cities in now is the final piece of the puzzle,” Caulk said. “What I would hope would be to have Lisa (Isanti Planning and Parks Director Lisa Wilson) from your staff continue meeting with MESB to talk about potential solutions and ideas and then bring it back.”

Community Center task force seeks public support

City Council members approved a request by the Community Center Task Force to use social media to distribute information on the city’s Community Center.

The city is placing a question on the November ballot asking voters whether they would support increasing their city property taxes to pay for improvements to the community center.

If passed, the city would consider issuing $250,000 in general obligation bonds to fund improvement projects.

Council member Sue Larson said using social media websites will help market the Community Center, explain its uses to the public, provide information on how to schedule an event, as well as informing the public on the upcoming ballot question.

She explained that a website or Facebook page for the Community Center would be a community effort, not a city effort.

If the question passes, the city council will vote on whether to raise city property taxes roughly $13 a year per $150,000 home value for 10 years, Mayor Wimmer said. There is no requirement for the city council to issue bonds, but the public’s consensus will serve as guidance and gives the council authorization to issue bonds if it deems appropriate.

Railroad Avenue preliminary engineering report

Following City Engineer Brad DeWolf’s presentation on improvements to Railroad Avenue, the council approved the preliminary engineering report and authorized the preparation of final plans and specifications.

The proposed improvements to Railroad Avenue SE, resurfacing Penny Lane SE and completing a bituminous trail loop include street reconstruction, storm water management and trail installation.

The proposed project consists of reconstructing approximately 1,300 feet of Railroad Avenue SE from Towns Edge Road SE to South Passage SE.

The total estimated project cost for Railroad Avenue improvements is $770,395 and estimated cost for resurfacing Penny Lane is $9,835.

Funding for the roadway surface, trail, storm water management and street lights is from the city’s Municipal State Aid (MSA) account.

In other action, the council:

• Interviewed and appointed Kristie Gordon to fill the open Planning Commission seat.