Herald JournalHerald Journal, June 21, 2004

Montrose reluctantly orders silo to be removed from Lent Park

By Lynda Jensen

With regret, the Montrose City Council approved a motion Monday authorizing the removal of the silo from Lent Park.

Describing the silo as a landmark, Council Member Jeff Petersen argued in favor of leaving it where it is.

“I think it is kind of unique to have that there to identify that park,” Petersen said.

The other council members were sympathetic, but were unable to justify keeping the silo.

“I would like to see it stay there, but nobody has been able to figure out what to do with it,” Council Member Jeff Mattson commented.

Among the reasons to have the silo removed were concerns about safety and liability issues.

It was noted that the silo is near the site where the new skateboard park will be installed, and that this will likely bring more young people into the area.

“The cement will deteriorate over time,” Fire Chief Mike Marketon observed.

“There has been much discussion about this by the park board, and that is why we have those people. I wish we could do something with it,” Mayor Charlie Nelson said.

The council approved a motion to accept a bid of $700 from Ward Carlson for the removal of the silo and footings. The vote was 3-1 with Sharon Knodel, Mattson and Nelson in favor, and Petersen opposed.

Another issue that divided council opinion was the 3.2 liquor application for Casey’s.

City Administrator Barb Swanson stated that a business at that location had carried a 3.2 license in the past, and the current owner would like to get a license.

A motion was made to accept the application. Petersen opposed the motion saying, “There is already enough alcohol around.”

The motion was carried 3-1 with Knodel, Mattson and Nelson in favor and Petersen opposed.

The fire department also made a presentation about a two-year program offered by Polaris that would allow the fire department to acquire a Polaris Sportsman 500 6x6 ATV.

The department would have the use of the unit for two years and then have the option to purchase it for approximately 50 percent of the original retail value.

It would use this equipment for applications such as search and rescue calls and fighting grass fires.

It was noted that fire department members had been using their own ATVs in the past.

The estimated cost to purchase the ATV at the end of the program is $3,200.

“We have been working on this for a couple of years. The other companies don’t have a program like this,” Marketon said.

The council approved a motion to allow the fire department to go ahead with the program.

Knodel told the council that American Ramp has offered the city a 20-foot grind rail valued at $700 for the new skate park if the $23,100 invoice for the project is paid right away rather than after 30 days. The council approved a motion to pay the invoice up front.

Resident Les Thoreson expressed concern about the skate park.

“The park in Buffalo does not get used,” Thoreson said.

“That is a paid park,” Knodel said, noting that the Montrose park will be free while users pay admission in Buffalo.

“Cokato closed their park. Kids destroyed it in six months,” Thoreson said.

Cokato closed its skate park citing insurance issues, according to the Enterprise Dispatch newspaper.

Knodel said that there had been several meetings to discuss the skate park. “It was felt that teens in Montrose need this park,” Knodel said.

“It is not the kids that are involved that are bad,” Thoreson said. “It is the bullies that will come in from out of town.”

“I think you have to be optimistic. You can’t just say it will be a problem before it is even built,” Swanson said.

Swanson told the council that everything is in place for the ice cream social, which will be conducted on Friday, July 23 at 6:30 p.m. in Lions Park.

“This will be a fun night for the people of Montrose to get together and get to know one another. The town has doubled in population in the last five years,” Nelson said.

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