At the Dec. 23, 2019 meeting of the Linwood Town Board Linwood Treasurer Andrea Nekowitsch gave an update on her correspondence with Midco regarding the possibility of bringing broadband internet to parts of the community.
“Midco formally reviewed the Ryan Lake and Boettcher Farms area. ... The approximate amount to be subsidized to Midco [by the township] for both projects would [roughly] be $295,000,” she said. Of that subsidy, $137,500 would be for Ryan Lake and $157,700 would be for Boettcher Farms.
She went on to say that construction could begin in 2020, with the $295,000 being fronted by the township and then assessed to the homeowners. It could also end up costing less.
“During our conversation, Midco expressed interest in combining both of these projects and applying for [a Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development] grant in 2020,” she explained. “If approved, the township’s portion could be reduced by at least 50%, and construction and implementation would take place in 2021.”
She said it comes down to two options.
“Do you want it now and pay more or wait and take a chance that it might be a lot less?” she said. “My recommendation is that either way, the residents petition the township [for a project]; If they move forward with the grant, that petition will help with the grant.”
The town board hopes to set up an informational meeting with Midco and the residents. Then, residents from those areas can decide if they want to petition the board for the services.
“This benefits the value of their places for resale,” Supervisor Ed Kramer said of affected residents.
“And for people moving into our community,” Supervisor Carol Searing added.
It won’t be as much of a struggle in the future, Nekowitsch explained.
“One of the things we will do moving forward is that [in] any future development, they will bring the services in at their cost,” she said of Midco. “If a new home gets put in, they will agree to get them services. That is part of the agreement.”
The Road and Bridge Committee is working on long range township plans. At the Dec. 10, 2019 meeting of the Linwood Town Board, the Road and Bridge Committee presented some of those plans. Is includes a 25-year projection of the road improvements and maintenance as well as equipment needed to accomplish the work.
Kramer said he hoped to have numbers ready by budgeting time before the annual meeting where the 2021 budget will be set.
Two priority roads are 233rd Lane and Sunrise Road, though Sunrise half in East Bethel and half in Linwood.
Supervisor Tim Peterson said 233rd will be a top priority. It was not able to be completed last year with budget restraints. He added that Road and Bridge will be working on a rating system to decide which roads need to be “done next, not just because people want them done but because they overdue.”
The Township sets the budget for the year in the spring of the previous year. At the 2019 annual meeting in March, the 2020 budget was set. At the Dec. 10 meeting, the board recertified it with no changes. For 2020 there was a budget increase from 2018 of 3% to $2.07 million and a levy increase of 1.5385% to $1.65 million.