Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Cokato council lets Kings baseball come to town

AUGUST 24, 2009

In other business, council decides to keep controversial parking lot

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

COKATO, MN - Despite a little apprehension, the Cokato City Council took the recommendation from the Park Board to let the Kingston Kings play next year at Veterans Memorial Park.

Three members of the Kingston Kings presented to the council the upgrades that would need to be done – at the team’s expense – if the city allowed them to play at the Veterans Memorial Park, located on Johnson Avenue.

Kingston Kings team members Rob Swendra, Bill Aho, and Mike Enerson addressed the council as to why the city should let them play amateur baseball at the city-owned park.

Though there was nothing wrong with the field the Kings have been playing on since leaving Kingston (high school baseball field), the team would like to have a field they can take pride in as their own, though it would still be used by youth baseball.

The Kings representatives told the council that youth baseball will continue to play at the field, but could use Peterson Park field if necessary, as well as the fields at the high school.

This idea was brought to the Park Board, which then recommended the council allow the Kings to use Veteran’s Field for the 2010 season, with the infield to stay as is to allow for baseball to be played at all ages.

The vote passed 4 to 1, with Mayor Bruce Johnson and council members Wayne Murphy, Carl Harju, and Gordy Erickson in favor of it and Butch Amundsen opposing the idea due to concerns about the scheduling of youth baseball. Amundsen also noted the recent Twins’ grant for field improvements for youth baseball.

Swendra told the council that what was done with the grant money would not be affected by the team’s planned renovations.

To read the full story about the Kingston Kings coming to Cokato, see Sports, page 1B.

Council keeps parking lot

Amundsen told his fellow council members that he saw no need at this time of selling the city parking lot on Jenks Avenue.

The council agreed with Amundsen and it was decided that the 60-by-127-foot parking lot shared by Forward Technology and the Iron Horse Grill and Saloon, which has been disputed between property owner Reed Carlson and Iron Horse bar owners for some time now, would be retained by the city, including the maintenance of it.

Council gives $20,000 to bike path repair

The council voted to put $20,000 toward the repair of the bike path that runs between Cokato and Dassel.

Dassel Township Board member Karl Townsend spoke on behalf of the repair, asking for the city’s participation to help with the $89,000 total cost, which would include 1.5-inch overlay on four of the five miles of the path.

Townsend encouraged the council that maintenance of the path should not be held off any longer to prevent the path from deteriorating even more and before the cost of maintenance rises.

It was also recommended the council participate in a joint powers board for ongoing maintenance (estimated $1,000 every other year for seal coating).

See separate bike path story for more details regarding its repair.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• agreed on the resurfacing of the outdoor swimming pool, after reports of swimmers scraping their feet on the bottom. The repair would also include the installation of drains compliant with the new safety regulations.

The cost of repair is $49,850, which will come out of the park dedication fund.

• approved a site plan and special use permit from Centra Sota Cooperative for the construction of a 10,000-square- foot warehouse/cold storage facility as recommending by planning and zoning.

• approved a special use permit for Lundeen Auctions and Appraisals to allow sales and license of firearms sales (emphasizing that this was not for retail sale of firearms).

• granted a wastewater discharge permit to Faribault Foods that had expired and applies to the discharge to sanitary sewer system only.

An appointment of members to a negotiating committee was made to recommend a new long-term agreement (five years) with Faribault that will be brought to the council at its September meeting.

The council appointed council members Gordy Erickson and Butch Amundsen to serve on the committee.

• decided to resurface Pleasant Avenue at the cost of $42,600, but to wait until next year for road work on Johnson Avenue SW.


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