A potential developer is eyeing a lot along the City of Peterson’s main thoroughfare and if it all pans out, the city could see four rental cabins available for visitors. The option plays into the city’s hopes for more traffic from those enjoying the Root River Trail System or other area destinations.
Michael Corcoran was present at the Wednesday, April 11 city council meeting to discuss preliminary plans and to give a brief background on himself. Cochrane has a long history with developing multi-unit dwellings and with utility work, being a master plumber. He lives in rural Peterson and his interest is in the vacant lot at the corner of Mill and Centennial Streets, east of the Acentek building.
Corcoran is proposing four, 20-foot by 30-foot cabins, each constructed independently. There are still a number of steps before the plan can be set in motion, including purchase of the lot. Corcoran will be meeting with the city’s Planning Commission for approvals before proceeding with the sale and closing May 31. If approved, one cabin would be built to determine the level of interest in the rental units. Should interest be sufficient for investment, Corcoran would proceed with the additional three cabins, eventually linking all four together by one continuous roof. “I want to see if people come. I don’t want to stick my whole neck out until I know,” he stated.
Early plans call for log-sided cabins with an A-frame peaked roof. Each unit would have two bedrooms, likely in an upstairs loft, with a dining room, kitchenette, living area, and bathroom on the main floor. A roof overhang, if approved in setbacks, would allow each to have a small porch. The units would be rentable by the day, week or month and if approved, Corcoran would like to begin with the first as early as this fall.
The area is currently zoned commercial and Corcoran stated he’d like to keep it that way. However, if the plans do not meet city approvals, he may seek to build a townhome or fourplex instead. “I’d like to have some security and like to have all the information up front,” added Corcoran. “I’d like to try and create some money and revenue for back for you.”
“We hope it works for you,” responded Acting Mayor Loren Rue. “I think it would work for the City of Peterson.”
In other news, the city received its annual audit report from Engleson & Associates. Presenting the summary was CPA Bill Sherry. In all, the city received a favorable review. Sherry noted the city’s spending of $90,000 for projects and debt service payments, but noted city funds were in good standing. “It’s part of normal operations and isn’t anything significant,” he noted.
Debt service remains the city’s largest individual cost and $26,000 was applied in 2017. Several interfund transfers assisted in the debt and project payments.
Utility funds indicated a positive balance and trend in each, after previous years had seen the funds not matching expenditures. Water fund is up to a healthy $26,000, electric $15,000, sewer $8,000, and the campground fund is at $6,000.
Rue questioned Sherry on whether there were any areas of concern or where ratios fell too high or low. Sherry noted the city’s $180,000 in general fund cash and another $117,000 in CDs. “You have a reserve there. You’re not going to run into anything that’s going to break the bank, at least in the short term,” concluded Sherry.
The last agenda item for the council was discussion of a property which is in non-compliance. The property was discussed at last month’s meeting in regards to a shed structure that was erected in front of the main property structure without a permit. According to Rue an incomplete, unsigned permit application was eventually received, but that city attempts to rectify the situation have been unsuccessful.
Councilor Dave Colbenson indicated he’d spoken to the party and stated the shed is on a pre-existing slab area. It was noted by Rue that rebuilding on a previous footing must occur within a set time limitation and that was not met.
“I hate to be the heavy, but I make the motion that we proceed with a letter from the attorney,” stated Rue. The motion was approved unanimously.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Wednesday, May 9, at 6 p.m., at city hall. The public is encouraged to attend.