Two months after city staffers sounded a warning about the city’s sewer infrastructure being at, or exceeding, capacity, the City of Scandia doesn’t appear to have changed its approach toward lakeshore building variances.

The Scandia  City Council last week approved variances for a trio of homes on Big Marine Lake to be either reconstructed or expanded. Two of the homes granted variances are to be served by the city’s Anderson-Erickson septic system, while one other will be on a private system.

In one of the Anderson-Erickson requests, at 18590 Norell  Avenue, both City Planner Evan Monson and the Scandia Planning Commission recommended denial of part of the requested addition, namely the two-car attached garage and living space above it, given that a garage already exists on the lot. The council overruled those recommendations, though, and rewrote the city staff’s proposed resolution during the Nov. 17 meeting.

In  the other request, Monson and the planning commission recommended allowing a 740 square foot home at 18570 Norell Avenue, provided the homeowners will remove an existing seasonal cabin from the site and keep the same number of bedrooms in the new home.

City Engineer Ryan Goodman told the council in September  that the Anderson-Erickson septic system has already exceeded designed capacity and cannot support more connections and the expansion of seasonal cabins into year-round homes. The Anderson-Erickson system serves several homes on the east side of Big Marine.

The city has been gradually ratcheting up sewer rates for users of the city’s three septic systems over the past few years to help cover the $1.2 million in anticipated costs of replacement and expansion.

Other business:

• The council approved a wage increase for firefighter Justin Levy, to $12.33 per hour. Levy recently completed his probationary period and firefighter training courses.

• The council re-appointed Brad Borg to a three-year term on the city’s Economic Development Authority.

• The council granted an off-sale liquor license renewal to Scandia Olde Towne Liquor and tobacco sales licenses for Scandia Olde Towne Liquor and Scandia Country Store/Federated Co-op.

• The council approved the $36,170 purchase of a new defibrillator for the Scandia Fire & Rescue Department. The council accepted a donation of $6,170 from the Scandia Fire Relief Association to offset part of the cost.

• The next Scandia City Council meeting will be held Dec. 2.

The next Scandia City Council meeting will be held Dec. 2.

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