City council approves Fifth Street alignment
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council voted 7-1 Monday night to approve the proposed alignment of Fifth Street Southeast. The alignment will place Fifth Street near the eastern edge of the Kandi Mall on the north side of 19th Avenue Southeast, and ...
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council voted 7-1 Monday night to approve the proposed alignment of Fifth Street Southeast.
The alignment will place Fifth Street near the eastern edge of the Kandi Mall on the north side of 19th Avenue Southeast, and will place the street along the eastern edge of the Kandi Entertainment Center and through a business park being proposed south of 19th Avenue.
The council had been asked to decide the location of the street because the Planning Commission did not feel comfortable making a recommendation when conflicts among several landowners were involved.
The Pattison family of Willmar, which owns the Kandi Entertainment Center, did not support the location, saying it would reduce access to the center. Also, they objected to the possibility of being assessed by the city for costs associated with constructing the street.
The alignment had also been opposed by Gesch Properties of Plymouth. The family owns 3.5 acres of land lying in the path of proposed Fifth Street location on the north side of 19th Avenue. They had said the alignment would split their property, making it less valuable. However, their objections were resolved after the family reached an agreement last week with Duininck Bros. of Prinsburg, the developers of the business park.
The issue then went before the council's Community Development Committee last week, but the committee voted 2-2 on an alignment option and sent the matter to the council without a recommendation.
Council member Doug Reese offered the motion to approve the alignment. He asked that issues involving flooding on 19th Avenue and connecting Fifth Street to 28th Avenue Southeast be addressed in an agreement with the Duinincks.
City Administrator Michael Schmit said he did not know if specific issues needed to be addressed now, but would be addressed when the Duinincks return to the council for approval of the final plat of their business park.
Schmit said Fifth Street will not actually be built on KEC land. "They don't like the idea for a variety of reasons,'' he said. "When the time comes and the road is built and City Council assesses for it, they could challenge or appeal the assessments."
He said one access point to the KEC on 19th Avenue and one on Fifth Street would enhance accessibility to the property.
If Fifth Street is built in the proposed location near the Kandi Mall, the city would need to acquire some of its land, according to officials. Schmit said he has not talked to the mall owners. He said owners have no interest in returning the city's many calls or e-mails.
"We knew if the road went along the ditch or along the southern edge of their property and made a little curve and went through the Gesch property that we would have issues with the mall,'' said Schmit. "They don't care about Willmar.''
Dokken said many different issues were involved. Also, he asked when did the city staff change its recommendation from placing Fifth Street along the county ditch to moving the location to the west.
Schmit said the recommendation changed after the Gesch family and Duinincks reached agreement.
Council member Rick Fagerlie asked if the storm water holding pond proposed in the Duininck development will ease flooding problems in the Pleasant View neighborhood.
Public Works Director Mel Odens said he did not know until a final report is provided. "At a minimum, we would want them no worse off then they are today,'' he said.
Voting to approve the alignment were Reese, Fagerlie, Denis Anderson, Cindy Swenson, Steve Gardner, Bruce DeBlieck and Ron Christianson.
Dokken voted no.
In other business, the council voted 6-2 to approve an amendment to the pawn shop ordinance requiring pawn shops to enter sales data into a computer network called Automated Pawn System. The amendment was approved after the council held a public hearing on the new rules.
Information on pawn shop sales is stored in the system and is used by law enforcement agencies to investigate stolen property and to regulate the pawn industry. The system was developed by the Minneapolis Police Department and was recommended by Willmar Police Chief Jim Kulset.