By Lynda Jensen
DELANO, MN Despite the below-freezing weather outside, the Delano City Council was thinking about baseball at is meeting last Monday.
The Delano Baseball Association approached the city about erecting a four-foot fence at the central ball field.
The cost, about $7,600, will be paid for by the baseball association. The city will oversee the work, since it is located on city property. It will be done by C. Holtz Painting of Cokato.
The fence was enthusiastically approved, with Mayor J oe McDonald calling Delano baseball a “piece of Americana,” and good, American fun.
The fence is needed to address safety issues with balls flying around, will establish a true out-of-bounds and if the city should ever host a state tournament the fencing would be required, anyway.
It will feature a sliding gate instead of a swing gate, since the gate is 10 feet long and will likely sag; possibly scraping the grass eventually, it was noted by association members at the meeting.
“We have the nicest ball fields around,” McDonald observed.
The work could begin as soon as Wednesday, with the gates being done this spring.
Tiger Drive four-way stop made permanent
After thoughtful discussion, the council also made the temporary four-way stop permanent at Tiger Driver and St. Peter Avenue, despite a recommendation otherwise from the public safety committee.
McDonald noted that sight lines there are a big problem, and that pedestrians are also an issue when it comes to crossing the street, etc.
City Engineer Vince Vander Top confirmed the limited sight distances. He said that two potential drawbacks were delays and roll-throughs of cars that didn’t fully stop; but that neither of these issues became a problem. “We recommend the city install a four-way stop,” he said.
City staff were watchful for delays caused by the stop, City Administrator Phil Kern added, but excessive “stacking” of cars wasn’t an issue during peak times.
“We’re pleased with how it’s been operating,” Vander Top said.
“It functions well as a four way,” commented Council Member Holly Schrupp. “It’s definitely an issue.”
The council voted unanimously to enact the permanent four-way.
Interestingly enough, after the meeting, a handful of residents who quietly attended the meeting in the background turned out to be pedestrians concerned about whether the stop sign would be removed. They commented it was “very nice to be able to cross there.” McDonald observed that the council fulfilled their wishes without knowing.
Odds and ends
In other subjects, the council:
• authorized the removal of two underground tanks at the old Daily Grinde location, with the expectation that nearly all of the amount will be reimbursed via the government petro fund. The low quote was from Dean’s Tanks for $2,850 with an additional $2 per gallon charge of removal for contaminated liquid found there.
• extended a three-year contract on a split vote with Meyer’s Outdoor Service for lawn care service at the Delano EDA/Crow River Villa Apartments.
The council quizzed staff about whether the quality of work was as expected. Council Member Brad Hotchkiss voted against the contract because of perceived quality issues, which he indicated after the meeting. Hotchkiss said he wished that department head Tammy Mathees was present at the meeting to answer questions, and that he felt a provision should have been added to the contract that addressed quality.
The vote was 4-1 with McDonald, Schrupp, Marc Plese, and Larry Bartels voting in favor, and Hotchkiss voting against.
• approved $14,400 in claims for the Delano EDA/Crow River Villa Apartments for the month of November.