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CSAH 21 plans unclear to councilman

A Menahga councilman expressed dissatisfaction with the CSAH 21 project plans that were approved two months ago.

Dennis Komulainen told the council Monday that he felt he didn't have a say about the water main looping option.

"I'm just not satisfied with the way things happened," he said.

But Mayor Tom Larson and councilwoman Kim Rasmussen said they remembered vividly having to approve that portion of the project after a public hearing held in April that Komulainen was present at.

"I personally thought it was fairly clear," Larson said.

Council members Maxine Norman and Joel Mickelson disagreed.

Mickelson said he thought by having a special meeting two weeks ago, the council had the option of changing the plans.

The council could have changed the plans but it would have been costly to do so.

Additionally, the council originally voted for a dead-end water main in order to reduce the overall assessments of the project, said city administrator Teri Osterman.

"That's the direction that's been given is find ways to reduce cost," she said.

But the whole thing was an example of confusing presentation of information and lack of proper communication, said councilwoman Maxine Norman.

"There is no record that said the city decided (on the dead-end water main)," Norman said.

Larson responded by saying that it was all included in the plans that were sent to MnDOT and approved by the council.

Rasmussen added that the council should've been clear on this because even at the public hearing some citizens asked questions about that specific part of the project.

Komulainen told her she shouldn't have voted due to a conflict of interest.

Rasmussen owns property on Poplar Lane, which is where the looping would have taken place.

But it's a citywide project and assessment costs are divided across the board.

"I have nothing to do with whether that loop stays or goes," Rasmussen said.

At the end of the discussion, Larson asked Komulainen what he wanted to do about the project or if he wanted to send changes to MnDOT.

Komulainen said he didn't know what he wanted to do and asked the council to give their input.

Everyone except for Komulainen decided nothing more can be done at this point.

However, Komulainen ended the discussion Monday night without further input.