Isanti approves veteran-owned contract policy

The city of Isanti has authorized the establishment of a veteran-owned small business contracting policy.

During the Isanti City Council meeting Oct. 15, the council approved the resolution which states “the city desires to recognize the service of personnel who have served our country and to aid in addressing disproportionate unemployment rates of qualified United States service veterans.”

Following a presentation by Alan Duff at its Sept. 17 council meeting, the council directed city staff to prepare a resolution that would award qualified veteran-owned small business owners a 3 percent preference in contracts for city construction projects in excess of $100,000.

Adoption of the policy will serve to:

• Facilitate the transition of veterans from military to civilian life.

• Prevent under-utilization of qualified, military-trained personnel suitable for and capable of contracting to provide services under city construction contracts expending local funds for city projects.

• Facilitate the participation of veteran-owned small business as vendors to the city in the city bid construction projects with costs in excess of $100,000.

The definition of “veteran” and “veteran-owned small business” is defined in the policy in accordance with state statute.

Wintergreen’s to construct parking facility

In her staff memo, Planning and Parks Director Lisa Wilson explained Wintergreen’s owner Ronald Stawski is requesting approval of a conditional use permit and site plan for a new parking facility to be constructed on the property located at 304 Credit Union Drive NE, which is located just south of the restaurant.

Wilson explained the applicant has purchased the property for future expansion.

The plan is to construct a parking facility within the western portion of the lot, and the remaining area will be maintained as green space until future uses have been determined.

Any future development of the property beyond the initial request will require additional applications, hearings and approvals by the city.

Wilson explained approximately 30 parking spaces will be provided within the proposed parking lot. At least four spaces of the total provided between this parking facility and the one provided on the original Wintergreen’s site would need to be handicapped accessible.

The plans also calls for five bicycle parking spaces per zoning ordinance.

Four trees will also be required along the frontage of Credit Union Drive NE.

Following discussion, the council approved the site plan/building appearance to construct the parking facility as requested by Stawski.

Presentation on  C-I bond referendum

Cambridge-Isanti School District Superintendent Dr. Ray Queener informed the council of the upcoming bond referendum.

The election will take place Tuesday, Nov. 5. Voters will be asked to vote on a $10 million bond referendum.

Queener said the referendum addresses the most critical components of the district’s long range capital plan.

Queener noted the average home in Isanti County has a taxable market value of $125,000. If the bond is approved, property owners will see an annual tax increase of $19, or $1.58 per month.

“If we don’t have strong schools, we don’t have strong communities,” Isanti Mayor George Wimmer said. “Personally, I’m voting in favor of this. With this modest tax increase, I hope this referendum will have a better outcome then the last one. Having a good school district matters in our communities.”