Council approves pair of annexations

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The city grew by about 2.5 acres – but no people, yet - Tuesday.

The City Council approved two annexations on opposite corners of the city – one for residential growth, the other for industrial growth.

The addition of the strip of land between Wieser Cabinetry and Tom and Jerry’s Mini- Golf on Surhke Road, about 1.5 acres, was approved by the council, along with rezoning to R-4 multi-family residential.

The immediate rezoning was requested by the property’s owners, the Wieser family, to facilitate planned future development of the parcel.

City Attorney Crystal Fieber explained that the annexation included part of the right-ofway of Suhrke Road, which forms the southern boundary of the property. That request, she said, came from the state Department of Administration, which reviews annexations.

The other approved addition was one acre for Oshkosh Cold Storage on the south edge of their facility at 4385 County PP, in the city’s southeast industrial park.

The additional land was needed to facilitate an expansion of the cheese storage facility.

The council approved resolutions supporting the city’s application for a grant to help with reducing phosphorus levels in the Mullet River.

“Last year we did a preliminary compliance plan for the wastewater treatment plant aimed at decreasing phosphorus in the (Mullet River) watershed,” City Administrator/Utilities Manager Brian Yerges told the council.

The city is seeking a runoff management grant from the state Department of Natural Resources to help offset the cost of implementing the plan.

“I believe the city has a really good chance of getting this grant,” Nick Vande Hey of Mc- Mahon Engineers/Architects, who helped draw up the compliance plan for the city, said.

“We’re just trying to position you to leverage some grant dollars,” Vande Hey continued. The DNR grant, he noted, requires a matching dollar commitment from the city.

“This kind of positions you for the future,” Vande Hey said of the grant and the plan it will help implement. “Any facilities you would be building will be aiding the wastewater treatment plant,” in meeting the plan’s goals.

It will also help if and when the city reaches a population of 10,000, when the wastewater treatment plant would fall under more stringent runoff management rules.

“This shows the city is trying to step forward and take some control over phosphorus,” in the river, Alderman John Nelson commented. “We will be able to say the city is taking some steps when we go out to talk to farmers,” about participating in actions to control phosphorus runoff into the river.

Vande Hey acknowledged the Mullet is impaired by phosphorus, both from the wastewater treatment plant and from storm water runoff all along the river corridor.

TMI Coating of St. Paul, Minn., was awarded a $58,800 contract to sand blast, fill cracks, prime and coat a concrete aeration tank at the wastewater treatment plant.

Yerges explained that the project is preventive maintenance that will extend the life of the tank. The two other tanks will have a similar treatment, one a year, in 2018 and 2019 under separate contracts yet to be awarded. He said $60,000 was budgeted for the project in 2017.

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