|1/31/2013 11:21:00 AM|
Chisago City Council briefs...
By PAUL RIGNELL
Chisago City council members agreed last week to a premium increase of $164, from $2,127 to $2,291, for an opportunity to double the city’s coverage in the case of sewer back-up or a water main break damaging private property.
Actually, the city’s new, no-fault sewer insurance policy will cover up to $25,000 for repairs of a utility customer’s system when a problem is found to have been caused by the city line. More than doubling the city’s coverage, the new maximum figure represents a 150-percent rise over the previous $10,000 cap per property.
The city would receive no more than $250,000 in total coverage for a housing development; where a whole development of more than 10 units might be affected, the units could not be covered by $25,000 each but only by a combined $250,000. The policy is exempt from covering sewer issues caused by catastrophic weather (which instead may be covered by Federal Emergency Management Assistance), electrical shortages or issues otherwise covered by homeowners’ insurance plans. Councilmember Ron Swenson revisited a past discussion by asking City Attorney Tom Miller if the city could get help from the Legislature to allow budgeting of park dedication fees, which are paid by developers, for needs and uses unrelated to parks. Swenson said there are lots of needs. “We’re strapped,” he said.
Miller said that it would be a challenge, and the city would need to start by contacting its own state legislators. “Every city is looking for a way to do it,” the attorney said. “Not to stop you from trying, because I can understand where you’re coming from.” With any development or redevelopment project, the city reaches agreement with the developer for a donation of park land or a fee is collected that would equal seven percent of the development land’s value, City Administrator John Pechman said.
He said that sometimes a developer wants to include a park within their subdivision (such as in the city’s Surfland area, accessible from Lakeview Road off of Stinson Avenue) or will contribute land or money for park uses elsewhere. “More often than not, (a developer’s contribution) ends up being a combination of land and cash,” Pechman said.