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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • No reimbursement for RV park developers

  • As he typically does in his role as mayor, Dave Genereux – after City Clerk Angie Menge recited a resolution on Monday evening's Crookston City Council agenda – asked a council member to make a motion to get the resolution on the table.
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  •     As he typically does in his role as mayor, Dave Genereux – after City Clerk Angie Menge recited a resolution on Monday evening’s Crookston City Council agenda – asked a council member to make a motion to get the resolution on the table.
        Essentially every time that happens, a council member makes a motion, another council seconds the motion, the matter is discussed very briefly or at length, a vote of the entire council takes place.
        But Monday, when Menge read the motion that proposed to reimburse developers Jeremy and Sarah Jennen for costs they incurred during the protracted, passionate debate that ensued earlier this year when their plans to put an RV park in Castle Park went public, there was nothing but silence.
        Genereux asked a second time for a motion, then a third time. But no motion came.
        Every now and then, when the feeling in the council chambers is that a resolution might be rejected by a council vote, a council member will make the motion and another council member will second it not necessarily because they’re in favor of it but just to get it on the table so the council is able to debate the subject at hand.
        But to not even make a motion on the resolution to reimburse the Jennens was an extreme rarity. So rare, in fact, that Genereux wasn’t quite sure what to do next. When he asked Menge and City Administrator Shannon Stassen what the proper protocol was, At Large Council Member Bob Quanrud interjected, “I would think it dies due to a lack of interest.”    
        That was good enough for Genereux, Stassen and the rest of the council, and the resolution died.
        The debate over whether or not to reimburse the Jennens dates back to early this summer. The couple from Hillsboro said they incurred additional expenses for professional services totaling $16,200 when they were asked to alter their RV park plans for Castle Park as the debate heated up and city officials asked for modified plans.
        Earlier this summer, the CHEDA Board of Directors discussed the possibility of reimbursing the Jennens for half or all of the $16,200, but when it appeared that reimbursing the couple for half the cost was going to be approved by as little as one vote, CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth discouraged a board vote on the matter because he wasn’t comfortable with them being so divided on the matter.
        Soon after, the reimbursement issue showed up on a council Ways & Means Committee agenda. After an enthusiastic debate, the committee recommended full council approval of an $8,000 reimbursement for the Jennens. A resolution to do just that was on the council’s agenda two weeks ago, but after Ward 6 Council Member Tom Vedbraaten motioned that it be tabled for two weeks so he could take a closer look at the Jennens’ invoices, the matter was tabled for two weeks, on a 6-2 vote.

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