5/23/2013 3:48:00 PM Resort season in jeopardy without proper sewer system
by DENISE MARTIN
Rose Hill Resort owner Al Davis is scrambling to make sure his wastewater systems are functioning in time to open for the summer cabin season. He met with Lindstrom City Council last week to consider annexing into the city so he’d be eligible for getting onto municipal sewer and water systems. The big unanswered question is how services can be provided to this oddly-situated parcel, with under-sized road right-of-way and also find the best route for the underground piping so that adjoining township properties can hook-up in the future.
The cluster of cabins on the shore of South Lindstrom Lake fill every summer with by-the-week and season-long renters. There are also two stand alone homes that are year-round rentals and there’s the house where Davis lives. After a surface discharge of sewerage this winter regulators with the state health department laid down an ultimatum-- either the resort gets on a municipal system or Davis loses his license to keep working in the hospitality industry. Also-- city officials were notified Rose Hill marina is being operated in violation of MN Dept. of Natural Resources rules, but that’s another story. Lindstrom City Council reviewed preliminary engineering details for over an hour May 16. All five council members agreed this issue warrants a special meeting just to detangle everything and figure out the best remedy. A special meeting with all the involved entities is tentatively set for Thursday May 23 at 7 p.m.
So far, Chisago Lake Township supervisors are agreeable to special concessions, as far as taxation sharing agreements and (Lehigh Ave) road takeover, plus other issues like zoning, that frequently complicate annexations. And, the county needs to be brought into the discussion because it’s the enforcement arm for township septic system issues. City Attorney Soren Mattick said any plan devised to even “temporarily” hook Rose Hill up to city sewer must get cleared by the county or it’s not even worth pursuing. He added, “If our goal is to make sure first that they can open this summer, we can start there (with the county).” Davis was cautioned by Mayor Keith Carlson, “We know this is going to be expensive.”
Mayor Carlson wondered if the resort can cash flow and shoulder project costs like these. Davis mentioned he’d like to add RV camping at the top of the hill (south of Hwy 8) but needs water and sewer for that spot too. Another option is to expand the project service area and hook-up Rose Hill’s township neighbors, generating fees to help pay for this. As for the sewer product that was leaking above-ground, Davis has connected a new piping system (the old one apparently froze) but nobody expects this to suffice come wintertime. Holding tanks on site are also not permanent solutions to this. Aging infrastructure in town was also addressed. Council gave consensus to city engineer Jon Herdegen to start moving on plans for replacing the watermain, north of First, along Lake Avenue, west of Linden. There’s only three or so homes served by this ancient one inch galvanized pipe; but Herdegen said it’s at the end of its useful life and he’d like to get in there before winter because that’s when breaks tend to happen.