HJ/EDEnterprise Dispatch, Dec. 26, 2005

Lakeview Ranch annexed to Dassel

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

Lakeview Ranch, a home for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, has been annexed by the City of Dassel.

The city council adopted the annexation ordinance at its meeting last Monday. Owner Randy Hed was present. Richard Fiskum and Judy Berry are his partners. Berry had not signed the petition for annexation by last Monday. Once the city has that signature, the annexation of approximately 60 acres will be official, according to City Administrator Myles McGrath.

McGrath called the annexation a “win-win for the city.” The facility, which is contiguous to the City of Dassel on the west, is providing its own infrastructure to connect with the city’s sanitary sewer system. At the same time, it will add to the tax base of the city, McGrath said.

Lakeview Holding Co. LLC, asked to be hooked up to the city’s sanitary sewer system because the facility’s closed septic system couldn’t handle the antibacterial medicine its patients need, Hed said Aug. 2.

Although Lakeview will be using the city’s sanitary sewer system, it will not be hooked up to city water. This is why the vote by the city’s planning and zoning commission was not unanimous, McGrath said.

City Council Member Bob Lalone also expressed discomfort about the facility not using city water. Lalone said he would approve this type of annexation only this one time.

A meter will gauge the sewer flow so the city will be able to calculate how much to charge Lakeview. Usually residents are charged for sewer based on their water usage.

Council Member Al Dunne asked how the city can shut off its water for non-payment of the utility bill if Lakeview doesn’t use its water.

If that happens, the city will recoup through taxes, McGrath said.

Hed said there is a possibility Lakeview will use city water someday. Officials at Lakeview have found financial advantages to having city water, such as having a fire hydrant nearby. It is not clear, though, whether the facility will install it now, Hed said.

Installing the sewer and eventually water connections won’t affect traffic on Highway 15 either, Hed said. Engineers intend to bore pipe under the highway.

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