The Crystal City Council had a busy night on January 20, starting off with Citizen Input Time at 6:00, which was followed by 2 council work sessions, a council meeting, and an EDA work session.
One person spoke at Citizen Input Time- a landlord who owns a rental property in Crystal and had some issues with the renewal process. The council and city staff will be looking into potential changes to the way we interact with property owners as a result of this conversation.
The first work session, held right before the meeting and after Citizen Input Time, dealt with a proposed railroad project in Crystal. I will write about this in more detail later as I should have more information after another meeting tomorrow.
After the first work session we went to the regular council meeting. We started with the presentation of the Outstanding Agency Award to the Crystal Police Department from from state’s Office of Traffic Safety. CPD participates in the state’s Toward Zero Death traffic safety initiative and a representative of that program was on hand to explain about the program and the results. We have had zero traffic fatalities in Crystal over the past few years, and deaths in MN are near an all time low. In addition to accolades, CPD won a new piece of traffic safety equipment, called a “Lidar,” worth about $5,000.
During the regular agenda we approved the purchase of some replacement trucks for public works. These were planned replacements of old trucks which were in the 2015 budget.
After the meeting we went into an Economic Development Authority (EDA) work session which was very productive. We reviewed the 2014 annual report and the 2015 work plan (what the EDA did last year, and what it plans to do this year).
We also discussed in detail all of the lots which are owned by the EDA, and asked the staff to move a few of the lots from the “hold” list to active development.
There are many reasons why the EDA may obtain a lot- it could be a tax forfeiture, a regular purchase or even a donation. Once the EDA obtains the lots we have to decide what to do with them. The city has been holding on to a few lots since the bubble burst of 2008, but with the market coming back the EDA wanted to get as many of these lots developed as the market will allow.
After the EDA work session ended at about 9PM we had a short council work session to talk about council goals for 2015, including the Citizen Connection Initiative.
The next meeting is Tuesday February 3.
You can watch the video of the council meeting here and find the agendas and meeting notes here. Audio recording of work sessions can be found here. Check the city calendar for updated meeting dates, locations and times.