Minnetrista on top 10 list of safest MN cities, but will we stay there?

We learned at our council meeting Monday night that Minnetrista is #6 on the list of top 10 safest cities in Minnesota according to the FBI’s uniform crime report analyzed here. Aside from an error in our population count (shows we’re over 10,000) the analysis confirms why people want to live in Minnetrista and being safe is up there on everyone’s list.

One of the reasons for our low crime rate is the fact our population is spread out over a large geographical area and we don’t have the density that’s found in cities with higher crime rates. Our population is more educated and our median home values are higher than many of the cities lower on the list. Our public safety department does a great job too.

bad guyLet’s hope Minnetrista can resist the pressures of unelected influences (Met Council, League of Minnesota Cities, MN Dept of Housing) pushing for higher density housing in Minnesota cities that will most assuredly affect not only our crime rate but our traffic volume as well. Minnetrista doesn’t have many options for accommodating more traffic as our land is constrained by lakes and waterways with new or widened routes being all but impossible. High density housing, crime and traffic are things to avoid, not invite.

Minnetrista is a special place, a safe place to raise a family where most people feel comfortable taking an evening walk down a trail without a can of mace in their hand. That could all change.

 

 

 

 

Minnetrista’s rural character is at stake in this election

The slogan on Elroy Balgaard’s flyers, “Keep it Rural”, resonates with the people I’ve been talking with, even those living in the more densely populated Minnetrista housing developments. I was in Hunters Crest over the weekend and many of those homes border beautiful marshes and prairies that residents cherish and want preserved.

City Council members have the authority to approve Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) in areas outside the MUSA line that are zoned “Rural” as well as “Urban Reserve” that could drastically change the entire landscape of Minnetrista. Make sure you vote for someone who will not support higher density PUDs than current primary zoning allows in these areas. In the 2040 Comp Plan there is something called “Limited Secondary Zoning” that essentially allows higher density in these zones if the council deems it appropriate. It’s important who you vote for.

 

Minnetrista’s rural character is at stake in this election

The slogan on Elroy Balgaard’s flyers, “Keep it Rural”, resonates with the people I’ve been talking with, even those living in the more densely populated Minnetrista housing developments. I was in Hunters Crest yesterday and many of those homes border beautiful marshes and prairies that residents cherish and want preserved.

City Council members have the authority to approve Planned Urban Developments (PUDs) in areas outside the MUSA line that are zoned “Rural” as well as “Urban Reserve” that could drastically change the entire landscape of Minnetrista. Make sure you vote for someone who will not support higher density PUDs than current primary zoning allows in these areas. In the 2040 Comp Plan there is something called “Limited Secondary Zoning” that essentially allows higher density in these zones if the council deems it appropriate. It’s important who you vote for. #ElroyBalgaardForCityCouncil

 

“Keep it Rural Minnetrista” Elroy Balgaard for City Council video

The slogan “Keep it Rural” resonates with the people I’ve been talking with, even those living in the more densely populated Minnetrista housing developments. I was in Hunters Crest yesterday and many of those homes border beautiful marshes and prairies that residents cherish and want preserved.

City Council members have the authority to approve Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) in areas outside the MUSA line that are zoned “Rural” as well as “Urban Reserve” that could drastically change the entire landscape of Minnetrista. Make sure you vote for someone who will not support higher density PUDs than current primary zoning allows in these areas. In the 2040 Comp Plan there is something called “Limited Secondary Zoning” that essentially allows higher density in these zones if the council deems it appropriate. It’s important who you vote for.

Minnetrista preliminary tax increase highest of all surrounding cities

I attended the League of Women Voters city council candidate forum at Minnetrista city hall Thursday night. Once the video is available I’ll post it and give a recap. For now just wanted to post some information city council candidate Elroy Balgaard shared that night on the surrounding communities and how their preliminary tax levy changes compare to Minnetrista’s.2019 surrounding cities preliminary leviesThis information didn’t go over well with the incumbents who asserted these communities can’t be compared but it should be noted that the city of Orono is quite comparable to Minnetrista in size and growth yet their increase is 40% lower than Minnetrista’s. Yes, there’s always a chance preliminary tax levies may come down before they are adopted in December but I’d be shocked if Minnetrista’s increase came down to even Wayzata’s at 4.29%.

Minnetrista grew 2.5% last year. Why do we need a 6.01% budget increase to pay for that?

Even though there will be a public hearing on December 3, the Minnetrista final 2019 tax levy will most likely, given history, be adopted without change that same evening and the public hearing is not likely to influence that. Sort of makes one wonder what the point is of having a public hearing.

July 13, 2018

WE NEED ANSWERS to these questions before taking additional steps toward spending millions on another water tower and treatment plant in the Southwest sector:

1. Minnetrista’s new 2040 Comprehensive plan shows a total number of municipal water connections in 2015 as 1,648 but the commissioned study shows far fewer connections at 1,245 in 2015. We should have accurate data from 2015. Why are these numbers so different? When I see discrepancies like this it doesn’t give me confidence in our growth projections.

2. According to Minnetrista’s 2040 Comprehensive plan there has been a downward trend in Total per capita and Maximum Daily Water Demands for the past several years. Why does the commissioned study show Maximum Daily Per Capita Water use increasing by 78% in 2016 (from 198gpd to 353gpd)? Are these estimates or actual numbers, and if actual what was the cause of the dramatic rise?

3. Why are the Maximum Daily Demand numbers missing for 2011? All years preceding and post are there. We should have this number in our system.

4. If a new tower is built what would the estimated average cost be for city water users? What is the best case scenario (we reach growth projections anticipated) and worst case (we don’t). I’m asking for estimates, not actuals. I realize there are unknowns (interest rates, timeframe, construction costs, possible land acquisition) but we need to do a business case/risk analysis before going forward. Let’s identify the variables, plug estimates in and figure it out.

5. Will the cost for the new water tower and its maintenance be spread across all city water users or only those in the SW sector that are served by that system?

6. What is our break-even point, i.e., when we have enough new water connections and users to pay the debt service on the revenue bonds (money borrowed to build tower)?

7. How many new water connections are anticipated in the SW each year? What is the Average Water Use per connection in the SW? Have we asked the builders (Matamy, HP Holdings, etc) for their new construction estimates? It isn’t enough to just look at the total number of building permits throughout the entire city in projecting future growth and water use. Some of our past growth has occurred in other parts of the city. There is also the fact of diminishing land available for growth in the SW. Growth cannot be projected to continue steadily forever as it will undoubtedly diminish over time as this area reaches capacity.

8. Are we pulling annual water usage only on connections that were active for the entire year? If we’re not then the Average Daily Water Use Per Connection numbers are not accurate in the commissioned water study.