Development agreement approved for assisted living project in Delano

April 7, 2008

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

With a new developer in place, the Delano City Council approved a development agreement for the former Delano Ponds assisted living/memory care project at its meeting Tuesday night.

Previous developer Tom Schuett told the council at a work session Feb. 15 of his plans to sell the land, located on St. Peter Avenue north of Delano Crossings.

Last fall, the city approved plans for a 48-unit assisted living/memory care facility on the site. Included in the approval was a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) subsidy plan to utilize future TIF dollars to cover the permit and infrastructure costs of the project. At that time, a development agreement was not approved, and all other approvals were contingent upon its passage.

Schuett has reached a tentative agreement with a partnership involving Lyon Contracting and Development of St. Cloud to purchase the site and proceed with construction.

City staff has met with two members of the new partnership, who told the city they hope to start construction this spring.

The subsidy package for the assisted living project is $730,000 in TIF revenues.

“I’m looking forward to seeing this project take root,” said Mayor Joe McDonald.

The total building cost is estimated to be $3.5 million.

Trail on Woods Creek to receive better signage

Last year, the public safety commission reviewed concerns regarding speeding on Woods Creek Drive and the mid-block trail outlet from Woods Creek Park.

A speed study was conducted, and the commission determined that while several vehicles were traveling over the posted speed limit, there wasn’t a significant speeding problem on this street.

A concern of children entering the roadway at high speeds from the trail outlet was also brought up.

Several alternatives the commission considered included doing nothing, putting cones in the roadway, creating a buffered area for the trail entrance, constructing a gate at the narrowing of the trail before the roadway, or removing the trail all-together.

In January, the public safety commission recommended removal of the trail. A survey was sent out to those who live in the immediate area, and responses indicated residents did not want to see the trail closed.

The park and recreation committee felt removing the trail was the wrong thing to do, and felt it could be modified to be made safer.

“It’s up to me, as a parent, to instruct children to watch for traffic,” said McDonald. It was also noted that most of the traffic in the neighborhood was from people who live there.

Following more discussion, the council decided to purchase eight signs for the area – four that say “trail entrance,” two stop signs, and two for the trail that say “approaching intersection.”

Harlan Lewis, who is on the public safety commission, was at the council meeting, and suggested that perhaps the school resource officer can present a bike rodeo in that neighborhood as part of the education effort.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• approved the promotion of firefighters Mike Wisner and Scott Pivec from probationary status to full employment status with the Delano Fire Department.

Both firefighters have since completed the requirement of obtaining a commercial driver’s license.

• authorized a lease and waiver of fees between the city and the annual Relay for Life for Central Park for Friday and Saturday, July 25-26.

• approved a malt liquor license for State Bank of Delano to host an anniversary event Saturday, April 12.

• entered into closed session to discuss a possible purchase agreement for a Rivertown Rowhome unit.

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