The Norwood Young America City Council met on January 13 for their first meeting of the year. There were a number of items to discuss, including a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) compliance update for Curfman Trucking and an update on the clean-up on the Public Services Property.

According to the minutes for the January 13 meeting, Steve Curfman, owner of Curfman Trucking, has been before the council a couple times in the last year. First on September 9, 2019, he requested to extend the compliance deadline for the CUP. Curfman needed to either remove the concrete and other materials on the site or build bunkers around them to store them properly until they could be removed. The council approved of the extension, and approved of another extension in November of 2019 for Curfman to install bunkers and crush one of the rubble piles.

For this meeting, the bunkers were scheduled to be completed. Each bunker cannot contain more than 3500 cubic yards of material and cannot be taller than 25 feet, according to the document. Another time extension would allow this completion to be within compliance.

According to Steve Helget, the compliance issue is coming from the fact that at the previous meeting that it was specified that there had to be three separate piles of material for measuring purposes. In total, the material measures about 9000 cubic yards according to Curfman, meaning that he would technically be in compliance if he had three bunker. At the time of the meeting, there weren’t three bunkers, but only one.

“We’re gonna figure out how to get this forward,” said Mayor Carol Lagergren.

As three bunkers were needed, even though Curfman was complying with the 10,000 cubic yard limit he was given, the council began discussing how to make everything fit in compliance, since Curfman stated that the pile would probably stay at the 9000 cubic yard mark with sales and acquisitions. And now there’s only one kind of aggregate, not three separate ones, like when the CUP was first granted.

As such, there were a couple options presented to the council. The first would be to uphold the original compliance conditions, meaning that Curfman would have to separate the pile into three and build another two bunkers to accommodate. The second is to amend the original conditions, as he is within compliance to have one bunker.

“I’m trying to comply, I’ve been up here to make sure I’m complying,” said Curfman. “I’m hoping to get some help from the city.”

A part of the permit that also needed to be considered was the fact that Curfman Trucking only crushes recycled concrete once per year, meaning that the company doesn’t always have an aggregate pile by itself. The CUP would have to account for these changes, since throughout the year the company takes in rubble to eventually be crushed. To amend the amount of bunkers (down to two) there would have to be a public hearing, according to city code.

Knowing that he needed an extension, anyway, the council made the motion to extend the CUP, which would give the council the time to write up the amendment. The motion was approved unanimously, with the extension lasting until March 31.

The council then moved onto the Public Service clean-up report. Tony Voigt, Public Services Director, spoke on the topic once again. On the property, one of the bigger projects for cleaning it up is removing concrete from the hill sides. Of course, right now according to Voigt, removing the concrete isn’t viable since the concrete is frozen into the hill itself. However, they can prepare to remove the concrete.

To prepare, a few trees need to be removed so equipment can get to where the concrete is located. The hope is to have the path cleared by spring so the concrete can be taken out of the ground.

Speaking of equipment, Voigt stated that the staff is still working with Carver County to figure out storage for the equipment to keep it safe from the elements. There hasn’t been final approval just yet, but it should be coming soon, according to Voigt.

“We’re still continuing efforts,” said Voigt.

As for the bunkers and covering them, Voigt asked for recommendations on what to do with the bunkers. Lagergren responded that if businesses are required to cover their outdoor storage, then so should city businesses. As it’s not required, it was decided that the uncovered bunker isn’t a problem.

Lagergren also commented that the drive in for dropping off things like trees looks like it’s been cleaned up and more organized. Voigt stated that there’s still some more work to be done, but things will continue to move forward for the public services building.

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