ALEXANDRIA — Four new community services officers will help lighten the load on police officers in Alexandria this summer.
The Alexandria Police Department and Alexandria Technical and Community College reached an agreement for the program, offering it to first- and second-year law enforcement students.
The students reported to council on Monday evening. They said the program will help them gain experience and strengthen their resumes.
CSOs, wearing black slacks, black and bright yellow shirts and black hats with white CSO lettering, will drive unmarked vehicles and help with non-confrontational calls and nuisance complaints, Police Chief Scott Kent said. They will also distribute parking tickets and help direct traffic to where it is needed.
Here are other items from the May 23 meeting not covered in other council stories.
Two bids accepted for seaplane base
A project to renovate the city’s seaplane base takes off.
The council accepted two offers on Monday evening May 23:
- $6,500 from Bitzan-Ohren Masonry for new concrete.
- $4,500 from Ferguson Brothers Excavating to remove cattails from the site, if approved by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The council withheld from approving a third bid – $21,000 from Ferguson Brothers Excavating to remove existing concrete and prepare the site for a new ramp. This will allow airport manager Kreg Anderson to explore other options before the next board meeting on June 13.
The base, located on Lake Winona, is in poor condition, according to Anderson. At some point in the past few decades, an asphalt ramp was created that descends to the lake and includes a floating dock.
“Over the years the asphalt has eroded, sunken and crumbled, leaving it in a barely safe shape for vehicles,” Anderson said in a memo to council. “The dock is rusty and questionable at best.”
The project includes the demolition of the roadway, the installation of a new L-shaped floating dock and the installation of a new roadway.
Most of the money for the project will come from a $30,000 allocation through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. Approximately $2,000 will come from the airport development fund. The fund’s income comes from rents from hangars and other leases at the airport.
Anderson said there has been a resurgence of seaplanes based at the airport, and as Alexandria is a “top vacation destination on the lakes” it makes sense to have a full fledged seaplane base. at the airport. Currently, six planes from the airport use the seaplane base, according to Anderson.
The upgraded seaplane base will now be shown on all aeronautical charts, airport directories and facility directories that pilots may consult when planning their flights, Anderson said.
The project should be completed this spring.
Alleyway, traffic islands and crosswalk sign
City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven updated council on the May 18 road committee meeting.
- Lane closure request. Innovative Construction asked to close the driveway between Fillmore and Broadway, 5th to 6th Avenues and use part of the city parking lot to store equipment and materials associated with the construction of the Creative Touch store. The request is to have this space available for the 12 months it takes to construct the building. There will be a 6 foot construction fence around the entire area for security. The start of work is scheduled for mid-June. The road committee supported the idea on two conditions: the sidewalk on Broadway and on 5th Avenue must remain open all the time; and approval is granted for 6 months and will be reviewed after this period.
- Request for reinstallation of traffic calming islands. The city was contacted by a resident of Agnes Avenue and North Park Street with a request to relocate the traffic calming island. Last year, there were traffic calming islands at five different intersections. These islands are inexpensive, effective at slowing traffic, and popular with neighborhoods, according to Schoonhoven. The committee recommended installing traffic calming islands in the same locations this summer: Agnes Avenue and Park Street; 11th Avenue and Lake Street; Eighth Avenue and lake; Fourth Avenue and Kenwood; Fifth Avenue and lake.
- Request for crosswalk signs at the intersection of Scenic Heights Road and East Golf Course Road. A pedestrian crossing was installed there as part of the Scenic Heights street project. The crosswalk is located near the curve of East Golf Course Road. The road committee recommended that staff install crosswalk signs at the intersection.
Andria Thearre celebrates her new brand
The council approved one permit and five licenses:
- Special event permit for the Andria Theater lighting ceremony for its new marquee. The celebration will take place on Thursday, June 9, beginning with an open house at 8 p.m. The theater receives permission from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to temporarily close lanes on Broadway between Sixth and Seventh Avenues to allow people to have a clear view of the new electronic brand and take pictures.
- Domestic fireworks sales at Walmart.
- Mobile food truck, Terri’s Food Wagon, owned by Therese Sorenson of Alexandria.
- Mobile food truck, Deja Bleu House of Coffee, owned by Shaun Dusing of Farwell.
- One-day temporary liquor license on sale at the Willmar Stingers Community Fund for a baseball game at Knute Nelson Memorial Park on Thursday, June 30.
- One-day temporary liquor license on sale at the Alexandria Downtown Merchants Association for a wine, beer and art tour to be held on Friday, June 10.
The council approved a resolution that updates who is authorized to act on behalf of the city and ALP Utilities on contract matters.
They are city administrator Marty Schultz and Kirsten Berger, human resources administrator for ALP Utilities.