Council asking for repayment of district loan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 18, 2002

The Austin City Council has agreed to request the repayment of a $100,000 loan made to the Austin Public School District in 2000.

City Administrator Patrick McGarvey explained the interest-free loan "allowed the (high school's) ball diamond to move to Riverland (Community College) so the track at Wescott Field could be constructed."

According to McGarvey, the school district can now repay loan and city council members agreed the loan should be repaid.

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"This $100,000 and the $211,000 we're going to get from the (Housing and Redevelopment Authority as repayment for a loan to build the Chancery Apartments and the Courtyard Apartments) will definitely help our budget out in 2003," Council member Dick Lang said, when the issue was discussed at a Finance/Personnel Committee meeting held prior to the City Council meeting.

The council also approved a proposal for a storm water plan at the Cook Farm site. The plan, submitted by Bolton and Menk, Inc. of Mankato, is meant to "just identify what we need to do for phase II of the development … if we decide the costs are too high, we could put it on the shelf," City Engineer Jon Erichson said.

In other council news:

n The council passed a resolution approving a proposal by SEH of St. Paul to evaluate five railroad crossings in the city. According to Erichson, SEH will "evaluate the potential impact of the DM&E railroad, the potential impact of the coal trains coming through.

The project will cost an estimated $6,645 and the Hormel Foods Corp. plans to pay $1,000 as one of the crossings is on a truck route into the company. Mower County also has indicated they will consider funding costs related to a crossing at the Weyerhaeuser plant.

n At the Finance/Personnel Committee meeting, council members discussed the possibility of funding some of the costs related to assessing and planning for the education and training needs of new immigrants. The Austin APEX Educational Committee, Riverland Community College, Austin Community Education, Workforce Development Inc. and the Welcome Center have formed an informal task force to assess and plan for the needs of new immigrants. The project is expected to cost $15,000. The Hormel Foundation has agreed to pay $7,000 and the task force has received $7,000 in matching funds from other sources, but the project still needs $2,500, which is being requested from the city.

n Erichson reported the street repair project on West Oakland Avenue has moved into its second phase and hopefully will be completed in 10 days to two weeks.

Amanda L. Rohde can be reached at 434-2214 or by e-mail at