First up are initial 8 lots on Pirate Drive; after that is an entire neighborhood

    On two fronts, the Crookston City Council is taking steps that at some point in the relatively near future might result in some houses being built on Pirate Drive in the city’s far northeast corner, and much further down the road could result in a new housing subdivision north and northeast of Crookston Sports Center.

    Eight initial residential home lots owned by the City are currently for sale on Pirate Drive but have to date generated little interest. That’s perhaps understandable given that Pirate Drive isn’t much of a road yet and there’s not much to look at in the area other than dirty snow. But council members for some time have expressed a desire to make Pirate Drive look more like a real street with curb and gutter and a first lift of pavement – and, therefore, more appealing to potential lot buyers and home builders.

    This week, at the council’s Ways & Means Committee meeting, City Administrator Shannon Stassen and Widseth Smith Nolting & Associates engineer Rich Clauson told council members that to put curb and gutter and a first lift of pavement to serve the eight lots for sale would cost around $125,500. Each lot would be assessed $3,000 to $3,500 to help cover around $25,000 of the cost.

    Council members will revisit the matter at an upcoming meeting, but appear to be in favor of moving ahead on the proposal.

    “If I drive by it now and I figure I’m going to spend $300,000 to build there, with that little strip of road and all of that snow, I think we need to do something a little more enticing,” said Ward 2 Council Member Steve Erickson. “Someone’s going to have to be the first one in there, and maybe (doing Pirate Drive) will spur more activity.”

    “It’s smart to do it now and get it in there,” added At Large Council Member Bobby Baird. “If we keep waiting the costs will just continue to go up.”

    “The first lift is very important if we’re going to market those lots,” said Ward 1 Council Member Jake Fee. “It’s a tough well the way it is now, and this would provide a little vision of what the area will look like.”

    Baird suggested that once everything greens up, it would be wise to keep the area around Pirate Drive nicely mowed, and maybe plant some trees, too.

CSC Addition

    Council members are also revisiting WSN concept drawings first presented several years ago of the entire Crookston Sports Center subdivision that included platting for businesses along Fisher Avenue/Polk County Highway 11, then a layer of condominiums and other multi-family housing, and then 30 to 40 single-family homes furthest to the north.

    Before any of that can happen, WSN needs to calculate detailed elevation data and make sure all of the water in the area is being drained or otherwise moved in the appropriate direction, Stassen said.

    Clauson said a preliminary master plan of the entire area would help in planning, because at some point after some houses are built, the area is going to need a lift station.

    “This is needed water data, because there’s a lot of water that comes in from the north, and we need to ask and answer questions so we do this correctly moving forward,” Stassen said.

    WSN and the council are expected to schedule a meeting soon to further discuss what needs to happen next, and what the entire subdivision might look like some day.