Spicer to receive $30K grant for housing project

SPICER -- The city of Spicer will receive a $30,000 grant for home rehabilitation. The Spicer City Council heard about the grant at its Wednesday meeting. Spicer's grant is among $4.7 million in grants the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines awa...

SPICER -- The city of Spicer will receive a $30,000 grant for home rehabilitation.

The Spicer City Council heard about the grant at its Wednesday meeting. Spicer's grant is among $4.7 million in grants the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines awarded for affordable housing programs.

The grant will provide $3,000 per home for up to 10 homes in an area the city has targeted for rehabilitation. To qualify, a household must be at or below 50 percent of the area median income.

The grant money can be used for home repairs such as insulation, roof, electricity, plumbing, exterior siding, furnace or foundation improvements.

The targeted area is between Second and Fourth Avenues and Manitoba and Harriet Streets.


The city hopes to use these funds with a Small Cities Development Program grant it applied for last fall. That grant would provide an additional $21,000 per home for up to 20 homes in the same target area. The city will find out this spring if it received the grant.

Even if the city does not receive the Small Cities grant, it will still be able to use the Federal Home Loan Bank grant, said Jean Spaulding, Spicer Economic Development Authority director. The city has a list of 20 to 30 homeowners interested in grant money for home improvements, she said.

The city had applied for the bank grant to strengthen its Small Cities grant application, Spaulding said.

"This is good news for our application," she told the council.

Spicer applied for a Small Cities grant in 2004, but was not awarded one.

Also at the meeting, the council discussed the speed limit on state Highway 23 through Spicer.

Janice Carlson, a Spicer resident, said she had followed a vehicle that was going 50 mph through the city where the speed limit is 40 mph.

The speed limit needs to be slower than 40 mph because people often go 5 mph over the speed limit, she said. She's concerned about pedestrians trying to cross at intersections without stoplights.


Mayor Bill Taylor said the council also wants slower speeds and has sent a letter to transportation commissioner, Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau about the speed. Taylor said the city could install a stoplight at Manitoba Street, but wouldn't get state or federal help with it if it doesn't meet their requirements.

"There's not a whole lot we can do," he said.

MnDOT implemented the permanent speed limits on the new four-lane highway last month. Speed limits are usually determined using the speed at which 85 percent of motorists are actually traveling.

"They let the lawbreakers set the speed limit," Kandiyohi County Sheriff's deputy Shannon O'Donnell said, adding she doesn't agree with MnDOT's policy, but doesn't think it will change.

Carlson said a pedestrian might have to be hit before there are any changes.

Also at the meeting, the council heard an update on a 280-foot communications tower Redwood County Telephone Co. of Wabasso would like to build near the city's water tower.

The Planning and Zoning Commission discussed it at a public hearing regarding a conditional use permit for the tower. The commission delayed action on the permit until Feb. 15 to get more information on the tower's technology and its proximity to the water tower, city clerk LaNae Osmond said.

The council also agreed Wednesday to move forward with plans to adopt the state's shoreland regulations for natural resource lakes and to start working on a stormwater management plan. The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the city use the state's regulations for natural resource lakes, such as Woodcock Lake, instead of its own.


One of the differences between the ordinances is that the building setback from the lake would be 150 feet instead of 200 feet. The state regulations allow lots to be 1 acre instead of almost 2 acres, Taylor said.

The ordinance also would allow only 25 percent impervious surface on a property in those districts instead of 30 percent, he said.

The city needs to request the ordinance change through the state Department of Natural Resources. The DNR has advised the city to come up with a stormwater management plan before requesting the change, Taylor said.

The Planning and Zoning Commission plans to address the stormwater management plan next month, Taylor said.

In other business, the council:

- Named Councilwoman Marlys Larsen acting mayor when Taylor is out of town. Councilman Terry Holmquist had been acting mayor.

- Discussed plans for street and utility improvements on Second, Summit and Third Avenues and Frances and Harriet Streets.

What To Read Next
Get Local