Plenty to talk about with Crookston Homestead Act.

    The Crookston City Council, when it gathers for a Ways & Means Committee meeting Monday evening following their regular meeting, will get a look at a draft site plan for the former Wayne Hotel site at the corner of Second Street and North Main.

    While high school art teacher Gary Stegman has a mural in mind for the wall and is seeking grant funding to help make it happen, the council last year made improvements at the corner home for generations to the historic hotel until it was demolished two years ago a top priority. Some money has been set aside to make the corner more aesthetically pleasing and useful as well. Some greenery and a parking lot are possibilities. Repairs to the JJ’s Bodyshop north wall that’s been exposed since the demolition - whether or not a mural goes there or not - will also be part of the project, with the city potentially helping JJ’s Bodyshop owner Jodi Dragseth with some of the cost.

Lots of Homestead Act items
    Whether it’s the council meeting or the committee meeting, much of the council’s work tonight will involve the Crookston Homestead Act and the city’s agreement with developer Bob Herkenhoff involving residential housing lots in his Nature’s View Estates subdivision off Barrette Street and Eickhof Boulevard. The council will act on the proposed tax abatement on the lots, and at the committee meeting will discuss a proposed plat design, zoning, restrictive covenants on the types of homes that can be built in the area, and financing of the necessary infrastructure work. The process of entering into purchase agreements with those looking to build homes will also be discussed, with City Attorney Chuck Fitzgerald offering up his recommendations.

School board
    Among the items of note on the Crookston School Board agenda for Monday evening is a talking point in Superintendent Chris Bates involving “make-up days” due to classes that have been cancelled because of winter storms. It’s likely that Bates is simply including it in his report to gauge board members’ views on the subject. The state requires no minimum number of school days each year, and the local board does not factor in a certain number of storm days on the school calendar.

    Interestingly, the discussion likely would have been even more necessary, had the Pirate girls’ basketball team advanced to the state tournament, which begins Wednesday. Had they won the section championship, their first game would have been Wednesday in Minneapolis.

    After the board meeting, at 6 p.m. in the CHS auditorium, Johnson Controls invites the public to a meeting to discuss what school district residents “value” in their schools and in their community. It’s part of the contractor’s evaluation of the school buildings and swimming pool, which the district is paying them $20,000 to do. Johnson Controls is also meeting with students and staff at each school, and will meet with board members and the administration Tuesday afternoon.