HJ-ED-DHJ

October 1, 2007

Delano's population recognized by the state as more than 5,000

With the recognition comes additional state funding

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

The City of Delano now has its population recognized by the State of Minnesota as more than 5,000 people – which, in turn, entitles the city to additional funding from the state.

The Municipal State Aid (MSA) City designation is one that has not come easily for the city, as it is presently involved in a lawsuit with the state, claiming it should have been recognized – and entitled to state aid – a year ago.

The designation the city has now received will result in about $130,000 to $150,000 per year for local road improvements, including maintenance and reconstruction.

The city claims it was eligible for inclusion in the state aid funding system in 2007 because it reached a population of 5,000 people earlier in 2006, commented Delano City Administrator Phil Kern.

The state rejected this request, citing a 2005 population estimate that was under 5,000 people. In February of this year, a district court ruled against the city’s request.

The city has since pursued the issue to the circuit court of appeals, and is awaiting a hearing date to be set, Kern said.

In May of this year, the state notified the city that it has agreed the population has reached 5,000 people in 2006, and as of April 1, 2006, the population of Delano stood at 5,050.

“Thus, the state granted Delano state aid status for 2008, which Delano will be accepting,” Kern said. “The state has not changed its denial of Delano’s request for funding in 2007 and Delano continues to pursue its legal remedies over that matter.”

The goal of the state aid program is to provide users of secondary highways and streets with safe roads, adequate mobility and structural capacity on roads, and an integrated transportation network.

Delano has 2.1 miles of trunk highway, 6.47 miles of county-state aid highway (CSAH), one mile of county road, and 29.2 miles of local roads, according to a memo from the city’s engineer for the project, Bolten and Menk. From the local road mileage plus the county roads (30.2 percent), 20 percent is allocated as MSA routes. These routes will generate the MSA funding based on the construction needs required.

Each year, the annual mileage is updated and certified. As the city grows, more local streets are added to the city mileage, which, in turn, produces more MSA mileage.

Since this is Delano’s first year as a MSA city, determination of routes, mileage certification, inventory, street conditions, and report needs are required by Dec. 1 of this year. The first payments to the Delano MSA account will take place in January 2008.

Each year, Delano’s MSA account will receive two separate payments in January, with the first being called “maintenance.” This is determined on the basis of $1,500 per mile of MSA streets, or 25 percent of total allotment. This amount is paid directly to the city.

The second payment is the total amount based on population and construction needs. These funds stay in an account, and once projects are approved and ready for construction, a request is made to draw funds from that account to the level that is available.


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