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Perham City Council approves truck route

The Perham City Council approved an ordinance for a truck route through the city at its regular meeting on June 13.

The truck route had been discussed at a special council meeting held several weeks ago, and establishes certain roads and highways in town that truck drivers must take on their way to and from their businesses.

Council member Fred Lehmkuhl, who is also on the city planning commission, told the council that it would probably still take a while to get businesses and industries on board.

Appropriate route signs still need to be ordered, and industries need to be approached about the route before the city starts enforcing it.

For specific streets that are going to be a part of the truck route, a detailed map will be available in the city offices.

In other business, the council also approved the annexation of three properties, which was held over from prior meetings: the Meyer/Heikkenen property, adjacent to the industrial park; a parcel owned by Community Alliance Church; and St. Henry's Cemetery.

The council also discussed several aspects of an upcoming Tuffy's expansion project. First, the council held a public hearing regarding the modification of the city's development program. Todd Hagen, a financial advisor with Ehlers, a public finance firm based in Roseville, Minn., presented to the council a succinct timeline of Tuffy's proposed expansion, in addition to the proposed establishing of a Tax Increment Financing District.

The expansion, Hagen said, is estimated to cost $45 million, with an assessed taxable value of $18 million.

Construction for the project is slated to begin this summer, with the first phase being mainly office space. A possible warehouse distribution center would likely get underway next year, Hagen said.

The council later approved a resolution rezoning certain parcels from residential to industrial to allow for Tuffy's expansion.

The council also authorized the purchase of 10.3 acres of land from RDO for the upcoming expansion of the wastewater treatment facility. Total cost of the land was $25,000.

Two special meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, June 22 and Wednesday, June 29, both at 5:15 p.m. A public hearing for the upcoming interchange project will be held at the June 22 meeting, and a presentation from Community Growth Institute will be held at the June 29 meeting. Community Growth Institute was selected to perform a study on the design of Perham streets using a grant obtained from SHIP.

The next regular city council meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 13 at 5:15 p.m.