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Council approves plan for Tackaberry’s car/pet wash

October 22, 2007

Cost of fire hydrant, though, may prevent him from building

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

Even though the Delano City Council approved a plan for John Tackaberry of Star West to proceed with building his car wash and pet wash Tuesday night, the chances of it happening in the near future seem unlikely.

On a 4-1 vote, the council approved a conditional use permit/planned unit development for a 2,000-square-foot car wash attached to the Star West Honda building, as long as the plan meets requirements of the city engineer and fire chief, and also denied a freestanding car wash. Mayor Joe McDonald voted against the resolution.

Approval of that motion didn’t take place until the issue was discussed for more than an hour, and a motion made by McDonald to allow Tackaberry to proceed, without having to add an additional fire hydrant at his expense, failed on a 2-3 vote, with McDonald and Council Member Marc Plese voting in favor of the motion, and council members Larry Bartels, Holly Schrupp, and Brad Hotchkiss voting against it.

McDonald made the motion in an effort to compromise and see the plan go forward without the additional expense of a fire hydrant ($15,600), but required Tackaberry to follow the drainage recommendations of the city engineer. Tackaberry felt that was a fair compromise.

Bartels said the fire chief and planning commission looked at the plan and said the hydrants are needed, so that is what he has to vote for. He said that in 2000, when Tackaberry appeared before the council, the planning commission’s recommendations were overruled.

“I voted for it the first time, but I can’t vote for it again,” Bartels said. “I do think independently, but that’s my rationale.”

Tackaberry has said throughout the meetings that he cannot afford the additional expense of putting in the fire hydrant.

“There is no way we can afford to do anything more than what we’re doing,” Tackaberry said.

He said he was surprised to learn a little over a week ago that a hydrant is in the plans to be installed during the Highway 12 reconstruction project, but found out it still would not meet the requirements requested by Fire Chief Bob Van Lith to meet International Fire Code. The lack of a fire hydrant at the back of the Star West site appeared to be the main issue for the proposal.

The attached car wash option presented is exempt from the building sprinkling requirements, but the freestanding option would have required sprinkling.

Even with the approval to go ahead with the project, Tackaberry said it’s not economically feasible with the added expense.

Tackaberry said his goal with the car wash and pet wash is to try to keep people from going out of Delano to get the services.

“It’s not about profit, it’s about people, and as soon as we recognize that, the better off we’re going to be,” he said.

“We’re optimistic for the growth and future of Delano that we will accomplish this one way or another,” Tackaberry said after the meeting, encouraging people to express the need to retain and foster business growth in Delano.

Public works director position extended

The council approved extending an employment offer to Ernest (Ernie) Eden of Buffalo as public works director.

In August 2006, the city’s public works superintendent resigned. The city had an application process, but did not hire anyone. Instead, Tim Schrupp (streets and sewer) and Steve Richardson (parks) were appointed to serve as foremen of the department, with the intent to revisit the position this year.

In July 2007, the position was reposted, and applications were accepted through the end of August. After interviews, it was the recommendation to extend an offer to Eden.

City Administrator Phil Kern said Eden has experience in recent years working as a construction inspector for a major engineering firm, and also as public works superintendent for the City of Robbinsdale.

Council approves several drainage improvements

Annually, the city reviews miscellaneous drainage projects, and gave the go-ahead for three of them at Tuesday’s meeting.

This year, a ditch and outlet maintenance plan was also the focus of the drainage projects program, which was presented in August. The program prioritizes the drainage systems for inspection and cleaning.

Specific projects the council reviewed and approved include fixing a clogged drain tile in Rebecca Park Estates, which causes ponding during frozen or flashy conditions, according to City Engineer Kent Torve of Wenck Associates. This will cost $8,871 to install three bigger yard drains and eight-inch pipe to the street catch basin.

The council also agreed to repair pipe that enters the rear of the Anchor Marine property and flows underground to the Highway 12 system. Recently, the property owner, Vic Cossette, received approval to use the property for outside storage.

This will cost $7,225, and also require a drainage easement from Cossette to access the property, which Cossette said he would grant.

The third project the council granted approval for is to fix runoff and sump drainage from properties in Shadywood Lane at a cost of $3,400.

Another project on the list, installing culverts along the backyards and ditches in the area of St. Peter Avenue and Fifth Street, was removed from the list due to high costs anticipated with it, and will be addressed during reconstruction of Fifth Street.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• authorized a temporary permit to construct a trail/sidewalk along Highway 12 for the parcel of land formerly owned by Terry Grengs.

This is the easement along all floodplain properties, and this property was previously missed when a blanket easement was approved.

• approved WIT Service to do demolition/clean-up of property at 236 Babcock Boulevard at a cost of $5,850.

• approved the relocation of trees from several properties in the area of Highway 12 to the park at Parkview Hills at a cost of $2,875 by Woodland Services.

• met in special workshop prior to the meeting and discussed a downtown redevelopment project.

Greg Hayes has been working on a redevelopment project that would potentially relocate Xcel Energy from its present location on Bridge Avenue to the industrial park, and allow for a retail/office facility to be constructed there.

The plan was met with positive feedback from the council, and city staff will continue working on the project.