PO Box 910, North Branch, MN 55056

Phone 651.674.8113

 

.POPULATION 10,354  (April 2009 State Demographs)

 


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North Branch General Information


Area History
The story of the geographical area that the municipal government of North Branch has encompassed since its incorporation as a township in 1861 has come full circle. In 1881 the citizens of the township continued under one municipal government when North Branch incorporated as a township-size village (36 square miles).

In 1901, however, the jurisdiction divided. A one-square mile area of the township detached from the original village and reincorporated itself as the village of North Branch. The village of North Branch was more urbanized and was centrally located within the original 35 square mile rural area that reverted its status back to township and named itself Branch.

In 1961 Branch became a village, still surrounding the village of North Branch. When both communities grew rapidly after the completion of 1-35 in 1969, North Branch continued to be the more densely populated urban area of the community while Branch became home to many commuters who built homes on one-acre or larger lots. Farms comprise the remainder of the area.

In 1974, both communities became statutory cities under the state law that encouraged uniformity in municipal government. Within the next 10 years citizens began to reconsider the benefits of consolidating the governments and services of the communities.

A special election in 1984 proposed a study of merging the two cities. The proposal failed, and for the next 10 years the area experienced detachment/annexation proceedings, requests for extension of North Branch's municipal services, citizens' petitions to respective city councils and a study on consolidation by the Minnesota Municipal Board and a 20-member citizens' task force.

The Municipal Board granted the consolidation and the North Branch City Council adopted it. However, the Branch City Council defeated the measure. A sufficient number of Branch residents petitioned for a referendum on consolidation, which was held on September 13, 1994 to coincide with the primary election. Large majorities of the voters in both Branch and North Branch voted for consolidation. As a result, the Municipal Board met and called for election of officers for the new city at the general election. The city officials were sworn in and the new city name came into existence on November 14, 1994.


General Information, City of North Branch

City Hall (651-674-8113) is conveniently located in downtown North Branch at 6408 Elm Street.

The City is governed by a five-member City Council, consisting of the mayor and four council members, elected at large. 

See the Planning Commission page under "Boards and Commissions" for full information on when the Commission meets and a list of their citizen members.

See the Parks, Trails, & Open Space Commission  page under "Board and Commissions" for full information on when the Commission meets and a list of their citizen members.

See the Economic Development Authority (EDA) page under "Boards and Commissions for full information on when the EDA meets and its current citizen members. 

See the North Branch Municipal Water and Light Commission (651-674-7100) entry under "City Departments" for information on the Water and Light Commission: their history, their meeting time, and the current citizen commission members. 

See Municipal Liquor Store entry under "City Departments" for full information and hours of operation.


City Utilities

City water North Branch Water and Light Commission, (651) 674-7100
North Branch has the capacity to store 1,000,000 gallons of water in its three water towers. In 1996 the towers that are located on either side of I-35 were connected to provide an ample, consistent water supply to residents and firefighters.

City Sewer: City of North Branch, 651-674-8113: The City has received commendations in the past from the MPCA for exceptional operation, maintenance and management of its wastewater treatment plant, located on City property near the industrial park. A new mechanical wastewater treatment facility was constructed in 2004 and came online in 2005.  Residents in rural areas of North Branch rely on private wells and septic systems for water supply and sewage disposal.


Other Utilities and Services

Electricity can be purchased from: 

Natural Gas can be purchased from:

TelephoneThe 674 exchange has been included in the metro calling area since 1994 and the Rush City area code (358) is toll free.

Garbage Removal: North Branch does not provide for city garbage pickup. Residents must contract with a licensed refuse hauler. The licensed haulers are: 

  • East Central Sanitation (763) 689-2171
  • SRC, Inc. (651) 464-2321
  • Terry's Disposal (651) 674-4053
  • Gene's Disposal (651-426-1224)

Curbside recycling is mandatory since non-recyclable and unsorted garbage from Chisago County is landfilled near Mora. The PICKM counties contract with a private business to compost at that site. 

The City of North Branch operates a compost site near the wastewater treatment plant. The site is open for drop-off of leaves and grass and for pickup of free compost. The City also schedules free leaf pickup in the spring and fall.

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW): Chisago County operates a household hazardous waste disposal site located at 39649 Grand Avenue (North Branch Industrial Park). Visit Chisago County's website or call (651) 213-0450 or call the North Branch disposal site directly at (651) 237-0912 for information on materials they accept. 

This facility is open to Chisago County residents; bring identification proving county residency. The facility is open each Monday 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the last Saturday of each month 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The HHW (see links listed below) facility also offers the following:

  • Environmental Information & Education (I&E) Center - (651) 237-0836
  • Materials Exchange (great free, reusable stuff) (651) 213-0879
  • Waste Reduction and Pollution Prevention Assistance (651) 237-0836
  • Information on Illegal Backyard Garbage Burning (651) 237-0836
  • Environmental Meeting Room at the facility for environmental groups (651) 237-0912
  • Electronics Recycling information (651) 237-0836

Post Office: The North Branch Post office is located at 6444 Elm Street, (651) 674-7171

Cable TV: Cable TV is provided in most densely populated areas and housing developments within the City. The cable provider is MidContinent Communications (1-800-888-1300), www.midcocomm.com

Transportation is provided by Heartland Express. Call 763-689-8131 for information.

Communications: The City's official newspaper is the Post Review. It is published Wednesday of each week, and it is the paper where the City publishes public hearing notices, ordinances, and other official information.

Library: See North Branch Area Library under "City Departments" for library location and hours.


Emergency Services

Police: In case of an emergency call: 9-1-1
The City has a full-time police department. To contact the police department with non-emergency matters you may call 651-674-8848. To contact the Chisago County Sheriff's office with non-emergency matters, call 651-674-7033.

Fire: In case of an emergency call: 9-1-1.
The City is served by the North Branch Volunteer Fire Department.

Ambulance: Call police/fire emergency phone number: 9-1-1.

Hospitals: The nearest hospitals are 
Fairview Lakes Regional Medical Center, 5200 Fairview Boulevard, Wyoming, (651) 982-7000; and 
Cambridge Medical Center, 701 South Dellwood, Cambridge, (763) 689-7700
Both hospitals have clinics in North Branch: 
Fairview Lakes North Branch Clinic, 6913 Oak Street, (651) 674-8353; and 
Allina Medical Center, 38986 14th Avenue, (651) 674-0055.


Residential 

Real estate tax:  The Chisago County Assessor's Office (651-257-1300) can provide information on how property taxes are calculated.

House Numbers must be posted and clearly visible from the street.

New Property Owners: Your annual property tax statement is prepared and mailed each spring by Chisago County. For new homeowners, you must go to the Chisago County Assessor's Office to homestead your property. To contact Chisago County you can call 651-257-1300, or write 313 North Main Street, Center City, Minnesota 55012. Chisago County needs the legal description of your property or the property identification number to check tax records.

Animal control is contracted to Countryside Animal. All dogs over six months of age must be licensed and leashed; animal nuisance ordinances are enforced. Dogs are not allowed to run at large at any time. Dogs are not allowed off the owners premises unless properly leashed. Dog owners are required to clean up after their pets. Frequent loud barking, howling, or yelping is prohibited. Annual licenses cost $10 and may be obtained at City Hall.  To report dog issues, call Chisago County Dispatch at 651-674-7033.

Bicycles: Bicycle riders must ride with the traffic. Bicycles are not required to be licensed in North Branch. You are encouraged, however, to register your bicycle with the State of Minnesota.

Burning: Recreational fires are allowed in a fire pit without a permit (no larger than 3' X 3' X 3'). All other burning requires a burning permit, which may be obtained at City Hall. You are allowed to burn agricultural products. Burning of other materials is prohibited.  Electronic open burning permits can be purchased from the MN DNR at www.dnr.state.mn.us/burningpermits   All permits must be activated by telephone prior to burning.

Daycare: For information on daycare facilities, call Chisago County, or consult the local newspaper.


Miscellaneous

Permits  are required for building, electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, and related work. Permits may be obtained from the Building Department at City Hall. Work is checked by City inspectors for code compliance.

Peddlers/Solicitors  are required to obtain a Transient Merchant License from the City. If approached by a peddler or solicitor who does not have a license, or who refuses to leave when requested, call the police department at 9-1-1.

Signs: Contact the Planning Department for special sign permit requirements.

Signs placed in violation of City ordinances or other regulations may be removed by City personnel.

  • No signs are allowed within the public right-of-way or in any location where they could obstruct sight lines for motorists or interfere with safe movement of traffic. 
  • Signs may not be placed on utility poles. 
  • Political signs may be placed for 30 days before and 10 days after an election.

Trails: North Branch is the head of the Sunrise Prairie Trail. This trail runs from North Branch south to the Chisago/Washington County line. The trail provides bikers, rollerbladers, walkers, and snowmobilers with a scenic ride through Chisago County.

Curfew: North Branch's curfew ordinance prohibits minors under the age of 17 from being on public streets, highways, parks, playgrounds, or public places unsupervised between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. the following day. Young people out after curfew can be stopped and questioned by police; curfew violations may lead to a fine or court appearance. Parents or guardians may also be guilty of a misdemeanor if they allow-either intentional or through negligent supervision-a juvenile to break curfew.

Young people may be out after curfew if they are with a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult. They may also be out if they are attending or returning from an organized and supervised school function.

Parking: It is unlawful for anyone to park a vehicle on a public alley, street or highway within the City between the hours of 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. from November 1st until April 1st, or after any snowstorm until the snow has been removed. 

If your car is parked on a street during hours when it is prohibited, you can be given a parking ticket and your vehicle could be towed. Car owners are responsible for both the towing and impound costs

Park Regulations: Parks are closed from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.  No motorized vehicles are allowed in any City park, except on designated roadways and parking areas.  Fires are prohibited in parks, except in grills. Fires shall be attended at all times. Overnight camping is prohibited.  Littering, intoxicating beverages, and defacing property are prohibited. 

Picnic shelter areas may be reserved. Reservations can be made at City Hall.

Snowmobiles: Snowmobiles are prohibited on public streets and lands except the following streets: Elm Street from 1st Avenue to 14th Avenue; Oakview Avenue from Elm Street to Highway 95; and the ditch between the west side of County Road 30 and the railroad right-of-way between the north and south City limits. Snowmobiles are allowed on designated trails within the City. Contact the local Sno-Drifters Snowmobile Club.

Driver's Licenses/Car Tabs: North Branch does not have license bureau. You may obtain a driver's license or vehicle license at one of the following license bureaus: 

Chisago City Deputy Registrar, (651) 257-6578
Cambridge Deputy Registrar, (763) 689-1130; or 
Washington County License Bureau, (651) 464-7500.


Related links of interest:

Check these links for specific North Branch and Chisago County areas of interest:

Contact Bridgitte Konrad at City Hall, 651-674-8113, or e-mail Bridgitte with questions or comments.


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