F.A.Q.

General Questions

Where do I get a burning permit?

Burning permits can be obtained from John Holden (avianwoods@gmail.com; 507-
581-3270) or by applying on-line at the DNR website:
https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/questions.html

Do I need a permit if I am going remodel my house? Redo a roof/siding/windows? Build a new building on my land?

Yes.  Building permits are needed for all remodels, maintenance, and building projects.  Please see “Permits” under the Residents heading of the website.

Questions regarding Incorporation

Will the township become a large housing development?

No, While there will be some development, given the current economic conditions, we do not expect more than 90 houses over the next 15-20 years.  These homes would be concentrated in neighborhood developments similar to Upper Oak Hills or Bittersweet.  Currently 4 to 6 new homes are built each year in the Township. 

Where will new housing developments be located?

Potential areas have been identified residential developments. These areas are typically near the existing developments along paved roads.  However, ultimately, the current landowners will determine where the actual development occurs.  If the current landowner does not wish to sell, they will not be forced to do so. 

Will there be a downtown area with a main street?

No. The new city will not have a down town or main street.  We will continue to be primarily agricultural. 

Will we need to build a waste water plant and water towers?

No. The residents will continue to use their wells and septic systems that are in place.  New neighborhoods will have a common well and common septic system. 

What if a large industry needs to hook up to a sewer system and water tower?

In the event a business is looking at locating to our area and needing these services, we would direct them toward one of the neighboring cities.

Will the area along the Cannon River be developed?

No. Much of the area along the Cannon is owned by Rice County and the entire Cannon River is a designated Wild, Scenic, and Recreational River by the state.  As such it is under rules and statues by the DNR and State Legislature. 

Will the Township give the current residential developments to Dundas and Northfield? Do the residents have any say in this?

The Township is not looking at transferring any residential developments to Northfield or Dundas. The current residents have a very large say in this.  If the majority of the residents wish to stay in the Township, then the development will not be transferred. 

Why are we looking at Incorporation? I thought we had annexation agreements?

We currently have annexation agreements with Dundas and Northfield. The agreement with Northfield expires in December, 2019, while the agreement with Dundas runs until 2033.  While these agreements were written with the best intentions, they do not put the Township on an even footing with the cities.  As we have seen with the Annexation Agreement between Waterford and  Northfield, these agreements are not always effective in protecting the interests of the Township and its residents. 

The Township will need to diversify its tax base in the future in order to maintain services at a reasonable level. The current zoning rules imposed by the County restrict the Township from diversifying its tax base through industrial, commercial, and residential development as cities do.   

On our southern border there is land that is suitable for small-scale industrial development. This area will become attractive for annexation by Faribault if an interchange is constructed at County Road 9 and I 35.  

If we become a city, won’t our taxes have to be four times what they are now?

No.  There will be some expenses that go up if we are a city, however, there is some state aid that is available to cities to offset this.  The Township hired Northland Securities to review our current income/expenses versus projected income/expenses if we are a city.  Northland Securities report shows that they felt we were positioned to continue to exist with our current income without the need to increase taxes more than our expected 3%.  To achieve this, the elected leaders would need to manage the money carefully, but this would be no different than what is happening currently. 

How would the leadership change? Do we need a mayor?

We would need to change to a City Council with four councilors and a mayor.

What if we get bad leaders or not enough people to run for office?

This is a concern regardless of whether we are a city or a township. We will always need residents committed to make our area the best it can be. 

If we become a city, do I have to change my address again?

It is our belief that your mailing address would remain the same.