Council says new asphalt at CFD lot can wait.

    A couple weeks after the Crookston City Council’s Ways & Means Committee gave Public Works Director Pat Kelly the go ahead to spend around $20,000 on new asphalt for the city hall parking lot, council members put the brakes on any plans to put new pavement on the Crookston Fire Department lot this year.

    With the city Building Official’s office now housed at the CFD, Fire Chief Tim Froeber and Building Official Matt Johnson said customer traffic has increased and that the lot, especially the handicapped area and approach, is in need of improvement. With firefighters and Public Works staff handling the labor, Johnson said it would cost around $9,500. The money would come out of the Municipal Land & Buildings Fund, which has a balance of around $1.2 million.

    The project is not in any short or long-term capital improvement plans, however, something that sort of irked At Large Council Member Wayne Melbye. The city hall lot isn’t in any improvement plan, either.

    “Are we setting a precedent for every lot we own?” he said. “The Highland Park lot was in terrible shape and got tons of traffic and even then it took us a long time to go through the process to get that done.”

    “I agree these things need to be part of our plan,” Mayor Dave Genereux. “Maybe we need to figure it out as part of our regular budget process and determine what we want to do.”

    Ward 2 Council Member Dana Johnson agreed, saying it “doesn’t need to get done this minute” and could instead potentially be included in the 2014 budget.