Medina Public Safety Director Ed Belland, Tuesday, June 4, warned area residents about the garage door opener burglars, who use the openers to sneak into people’s homes in the middle of the night and abscond with valuables.
He was speaking at the Medina City Council meeting. At the meeting, the council also took up other business. Here are meeting highlights.
GARAGE DOOR OPENER BURGLARS
Public Safety Director Belland said the garage door opener burglars have been working in Orono and surrounding areas for the past three to four months. Police suspect that burglars are operating in teams. They have a distinctive “modus operandi” (method of operating) that is helping area police agencies to close in on the suspects.
The burglars prowl residential areas at roughly 2:30 a.m. in search of unlocked cars from which they grab garage door remotes, he said. They provide easy access to homes from which burglars “take stuff,” such as purses, credit cards and lap tops.
Belland said the burglars are opportunists looking for easy entry into homes. Residents can protect themselves by locking cars, bringing garage door remotes into the house, and locking doors connecting the garage to the house.
FIREWORKS FOR CELEBRATION DAY
Turning to the subject of Medina Celebration Day, the City Council approved a contract between Medina and RES Pyro for the fireworks display at the Saturday, Sept. 21, community celebration. The event again will be at Hamel Legion Park.
The price tag for the fireworks is $5,000, the same as last year’s cost, said City Administrator Scott Johnson.
LIQUOR LICENSE RENEWALS
Turning to the subject of liquor licenses, the City Council renewed licenses for Medina Entertainment Center, Medina Golf Country Club, Inn Kahoots, Our America Kitchen/ Oak Eatery, Baker National Golf Course, John Pohlker American Legion Post No. 394, Liquor Depot, Highway 55 Liquors and Target.
Moving on to the topic of donations, the City Council accepted $1,650 in donations from six area businesses and organizations that supported the recent Medina Police Bike Safety Rodeo, held at the Police/ Public Works Facility on Clydesdale Trail.
Also, the council accepted a $100 donation to the Medina Police Department from Darlene Whitman. The money is earmarked for the crime prevention fund.
UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS
In a memo to the City Council, Public Safety Director Belland said Medina Police would be working at a number of upcoming special events. They include a fund raiser at the Medina AutoMotorPlex Friday, June 21, a July 4 fireworks display at Medina Country Club and a Thank the Vets block party sponsored by the Hamel Veterans of Foreign Wars. The block party will coincide with Medina Celebration day on Sept. 21.
In addition to the block party, the VFW vet recognition event will feature a 5K race starting at 3:30 p.m. Also, F-16s will fly over Hamel Legion Park and Navy SEALS will parachute into the Hamel ball fields.
SEPTIC TANK VARIANCE
Turning to septic tank issues, the City Council reviewed a request from Peter and Laurie Maiser relating to a proposed septic tank for their 9.57-acre property on Medina Road, west of Hunter Drive. The Maisers want to build a home on the property. However, they need a variance from Medina’s regulations pertaining to setbacks of septic systems from wetlands.
The most viable spot for a septic system on the Maiser property is 55 feet from a small wetland, said City Planning Director Dusty Finke. Medina’s zoning regulations specify that a septic system must be set back from the wetland by 75 feet.
The Maisers proposed a Type III septic system instead of the Type I standard system because of the close proximity to a wetland, he said. A Type III system has an extra tall treatment mound. Only one-third of the treatment area would be within the 55 feet setback from the wetland.
Finke recommended that the City Council approve the variance, with conditions. One is that a certified Minnesota Pollution Control Agency septic designer must inspect the system each year for the first five years to make sure it is functioning properly.
After hearing from Finke, the council directed city staff to draft a resolution approving the variance.
LOT LINE RE-ARRANGEMENT
In other planning business, the City Council heard a request from Adam and Susan Marshall to shift the property line between the parcel at 1495 Medina Road and the parcel immediately to the west at 1585 Medina Road.
Planning Director Finke said both properties are roughly 20 acres in size. The Marshalls proposed to convey 4.2 acres of their land to owners of the property to the west. Medina’s zoning regulations in the rural residential district require five acres of contiguous acres of soils suitable for septic tanks. Neither lot has the required five acres either before or after the shift in lot line.
Finke recommended approval of the lot line shift. Then the council directed city staff to draft a resolution approving the lot line shift and changes in the location of the related easements.