LAKE CITY — Likely seven of the nine mobile homes on the north side of Marina Point will move into the interior of the point.
As part of the Ohuta Beach Master Plan, the city determined to move homes one through nine on the point – the first nine trailers near the beach – in order to add playground space and a new bath house facility. But home owners on the point have expressed concern about the plan that was passed in January. The new positions the interior of the point would position them closer to their neighbors and they would not have clear views of Lake Pepin, they say.
After revisiting the plan, the council on Monday passed on a 5-2 vote the same plan that was passed in January, adding a provision that homes might be moved to give them more space from neighbors. The council also passed on a 4-3 vote to approve a potential buyout of one home, allowing for more space.
"Staff and council have gotten push back" on the homes being too close together, said Megan Smith, the director of planning and community development in Lake City. "The only way to work around it is to get rid of a trailer or two. Staff has been in conversation with two individuals who are interested in that."
Council member Russell Boe said the conversation had gone on long enough, and the city council needed to make a decision.
"There’s not a solution that makes every single interested party happy," Boe said. "We’ve spent years trying to satisfy everybody, and tonight’s the night we move forward with the best plan."
In the end, the city voted to move the nine homes in order to give residents of the city better access to the waterfront at Ohuta Beach Park. What remained, Boe said, is making sure the rearrangement of the trailers maximized revenue for the city.
Not everyone agreed. Faye Brown and Cindy McGrath voted against the plan to move the homes. Brown said she wanted to leave them where they are and cut costs on the Ohuta Beach project.
In other business, Mayor Mark Nichols asked the council whether it wanted to consider an ordinance requiring the use of masks in indoor public places to help slow the spread of COVID-19. While most of the council said they wanted to encourage the use of masks, several expressed concern about whether an ordinance could be enforced, and if so, how.
"It's hard to enforce," Brown said. "Are we going to fine them?"
In the end, the group decided to wait to see if Gov. Tim Walz would require masks indoors in public buildings across the state. If not, the city council has instructed city administrator Rob Keehn to look into guidelines suggested by the League of Minnesota Cities.
Finally, the city approved Dan Patterson as the new fire chief in Lake City. Patterson replaces Greg Sievers, who retired as chief after 16 years in the department.