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North Hudson moves to correct runoff problem

It's been a long time coming but a neighbor to the North Hudson village property will finally get some relief from run-off water.

Ever since the old public works garage was removed and the empty lot was graded and planted with grass, rain water and melt-off has run off in a westerly direction into Jim Bechel's back yard at 404 Sixth St. N.

At its regular meeting March 31, the village Board of Trustees set aside up to $9,000 to fix the problem. Bechel, who has patiently pleaded for a solution to the problem at various board meetings, was in the audience.

"I'm happy with the way it's going," Bechel said. "I knew it would take until spring to do the job."

He said village officials and representatives of Zappa Brothers Excavating were looking over the area last week.

The old public works garage on the corner of St. Croix and Seventh Streets was torn down in May 2006. It was a structure that Public Works Committee Chair Joe Cothern called "the biggest eyesore in the village." The area was subsequently cleaned up when the new Village Hall remodeling project was finished and an open house was staged last April.

"I was happy with the way they cleaned things up," Bechel said. He admitted to enjoying a whole lot better view out his back door - looking at the new Village Hall instead of the previous metal structure.

Apparently, the debris that was gathered around the garage had actually diverted water away from Bechel's adjacent lot at the corner of St. Croix and Sixth Streets, Cotheran said.

Since the removal of the building, the board had pondered what to do with the empty lot. A parking lot was considered, but the cost was too high. Finally the board decided to grade it and plant grass for the time being. The project, however, forced runoff into Bechel's yard that collected in a couple of spots.

"I tried to grow grass but it wouldn't take," he said.

For the first summer in several years, Bechel may be able to watch grass grow over the bare spots in his yard.

Village Engineer Kevin Oium and Public Works Supervisor Mark Ekblad looked over the site on March 12 and determined that runoff continued west toward the highway and dropped from the curb to Bechel's garage.

Standing water, freezing and thawing had also destroyed a 60-foot section of the pavement near the northwest corner of Seventh and St. Croix streets that will be repaired in the project.

In other action the board:

  • Approved a Class B liquor license for extended premises at the Mallalieu Inn for the spring motorcycle run set for April 11 by a 6-0 margin. Trustee Marc Zappa was absent.
  • Approved claims of $70,095.47, which included $44,782 for the first half of the fire protection agreement with Hudson.
  • Approved an application for a coin machine permit for Scott Nelson of the Kozy Korner.
  • Approved changes to the building and building regulations ordinance including one that would make it unnecessary to obtain a permit for an accessory building of not more than 120 square feet if it did not contain a masonry floor, electricity, plumbing or heating.
  • Approved a street sweeping contract for 2009-10 at a total labor rate of $86 per hour for Michael Edge of McPhillips Inc., South St. Paul.
  • Approved a bid from First National Community Bank for $50,000 at a fixed 5.5 percent for five years beginning March 2010. The loan will be used for a new NHPD squad car, mobile video unit for NHPD and snow plow replacement.
  • Received a report that an arrest warrant program established in April 2007 had collected some $11,612.60 in unpaid fines. North Hudson Municipal Court has 209 delinquent citations worth some $26,000 and 100 active warrants with forfeitures totaling $16,000.
  • Approved a new Cingular Wireless cell phone antenna system on the North Hudson water tower. The tower now hosts antenna systems from three companies and can't take any more, according to a report from the Plan Commission.
  • The next regular board meeting is scheduled May 5. Following the spring elections, there will be a re-organization meeting April 21 to set committees and chairpersons.

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