By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN The City of Delano is teaming up with Franklin Township to seek bids for sealcoating projects this summer.
The city routinely sealcoats streets in town to help extend pavement life. The city has budgeted $60,000 for the project this year.
“We’ve met with Bill McMullen, representing the township board, to see if there is any way we can jointly bid sealcoat projects,” Delano City Administrator Phil Kern said, adding this may provide a cost savings to both entities.
Both the city and township will use their own specifications in the process to maintain local pavement consistency.
“Are there other opportunities we may be able to work with Franklin Township?” asked Council Member Betsy Stolfa.
Kern said staff is checking if there are other things that potentially could be bid together to realize a cost savings.
Council approves correspondence with City of Independence
A one-word sticking point caused a split vote between the council as it discussed correspondence to the City of Independence on a 2009 comprehensive amendment.
All communities located within the seven-county metropolitan county area are required to update comprehensive plans every 10 years, commented City Planner Alan Brixius of Northwest Associated Consultants in a memo to the council reviewing the draft letter to Independence.
Prior to submission of their comprehensive plans to the Metropolitan Council, all metro communities must forward their plans to all surrounding communities and affected agencies, Brixius said.
Independence has sent its plan to Delano for review. In Delano’s review of the Independence comprehensive plan, the only issue of concern affecting Delano is the designation of 60 acres of urban commercial at Delano’s eastern boundaries. This land use designation is contrary to the rural reserve land use proposed for the western two-thirds of Independence.
Delano has had discussions to provide utilities to accommodate urban commercial, however, these discussions failed to produce an agreement for services.
Without the availability of urban services, staff has drafted a review letter that states the introduction of urban commercial at this time is premature and should not be approved, the letter stated.
“We are requesting that the land use for these 60 acres along Delano’s eastern boundary remain rural reserve, consistent with the balance of the western portion of Independence,” Brixius said.
After Brixius outlined the draft letter to Independence, it was noted the Delano Planning Commission also reviewed the letter and recommended changing “premature” to “inappropriate.”
Discussion took place between the council members, and city attorney came up with “inappropriate at this time” as a compromise. The council voted in favor of this, with Council Member Brad Hotchkiss voting against it.
Landscape Structures to provide ‘prototype park’ in Westridge Hills
Landscape Structures approached the City of Delano with a prototype park it would provide to the city well below cost.
Located in Westridge Hills third/fourth addition, Landscape Structures would utilize the site to monitor the equipment, photograph it for promotional materials, as well as provide a local improvement.
This would be a “rocks and ropes” playground, which is a new concept developed by Landscape Structures. It involves several rock units, similar to those at the Big Rock play area in Central Park, joined together by a series of climbing ropes.
Last fall, the city worked with Landscape Structures on the placement of the Evos and Weevos play systems in Maple Knoll park.
“This is another exciting opportunity for the City of Delano,” Mayor Joe McDonald said.
The entire play area would typically cost around $70,000 to construct, but Landscape Structures is willing to write down the city’s cost to $7,500 to assist with covering the costs of materials. About $8,000 to $10,000 in curbing and surface material will also be needed to complete the installation, adding up to about $15,000 to $17,000 of cost to the city for the equipment. These funds will be pulled from capital funds or liquor funds.
Hotchkiss abstained from voting on this issue.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• read a proclamation in observance of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ’s 130th anniversary.
“We look forward to the next 130 years,” commented McDonald.
• approved the purchase of a pressure washer at a cost of $4,186 to replace the city’s existing one that is more than 25 years old and is worn out.
• approved the bylaws for the community garden and also the appointment of the garden committee. The committee consists of chairperson Debbie DeBeer, vice chairperson Elaine Harkess, secretary Sharon Clark, treasurer Harlan Lewis, and member at large Diane Hayes.
The group plans to begin site preparation work Wednesday, May 13 and finish by Friday, May 15 to accommodate planting during the fourth weekend in May (see related story on community page).
• approved a public facilities lease between the city and the Fourth of July Committee for use of the Central Park area and various streets for the annual Fourth of July celebration.
The committee was also given approval for a temporary liquor license to sell strong beer, conduct a dance, display fireworks, and hire a carnival. It was noted the fees associated with licenses were waived for the event.
• approved a request from St. Peter’s Catholic Church/School to conduct a street dance Saturday, May 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. on River Street in the area of Dave’s Town Club.
The request includes closing River Street from Bridge Avenue to Railroad Avenue, selling strong beer, and a dance with music by Butch Automatic.
• approved the purchase of a server from Intrcomm Technology to provide data backup for the Delano Wine and Spirits. The estimated cost is $475 plus tax and an additional $200 for a power supply.
• approved a change order and pay request for 85th Street improvements with a 5 percent retainage remaining in place at $32,552. It was noted vegetative growth has been poor and other punch list items may need to be addressed.
• accepted a $400 donation from the Delano Knights of Columbus to co-sponsor the blood pressure clinic at the Delano Senior Center.
For 27 years, the senior center has sponsored the weekly clinic, which is staffed by a licensed nurse. Clients are asked for a small donation, but no one is turned away if they are unable to pay, according to a memo from Gail Sinkel, the senior center director.
• purchased three sections of carpeted stage from Wenger Corp. of Owatonna to match the one section of stage the senior center already owns.
This is paid for through donation to the center, including $300 from the Glen Peterson family, $300 from the Emery Leaf family, $403 from the breakfast fundraiser that took place March 21, and $809 from the bake sale fundraiser that took place April 7.
• approved the park and recreation committee’s adopt-a-park/trail assignments.
Applicants include the Delano Methodist Church at the Big Rock play area; Jim and Julie Rassat at the Parkview Hills park; Coborn’s Pharmacy at Highway 12 trail from the bridge over the Crow River to County Line Road; the Delano Employee Club at the County Line Road trail; Girl Scout Troop 10896 at the Tiger Drive trail (from Highway 12 to Elm Avenue); Landscape Structures at the Johnson Drive trail and Maple Knoll park, and St. Peter’s School at the baseball/softball fields.
The council also approved the purchase of signs for the trails and parks that have been adopted.
• approved a resolution for a gambling application-exempt permit for the Delano Catholic Community for the annual St. Peter’s School Raffle June 6.
• approved the purchase of a color printer from Best Buy for Business at a cost of $2,821 to replace the city’s color printer that was purchased in 1999.
• approved a setback variance for Dale and Lynn Graunke to encroach upon the south side yard setback at a residence on Third Street South. Plans call for the construction of an attached garage.
Council Member Larry Bartels abstained from voting on this issue.
• approved a procedure manual for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). It was noted there was a good turnout at the first CERT open house April 15, with almost 30 people expressing interest in the team.
• took no action on a request from Laurence (Bud) and Joan Rieder requesting guidance regarding the construction of an accessory structure in excess of 1,200 square feet at an address on Buffalo Street. The issue is going back to the Delano Planning Commission for its meeting Monday, May 11 to consider a rezoning request.
• noted the city’s wastewater treatment plant operators, Jeff Poythress, Chuck Keyes, and Jeff Harff, for being recognized by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for outstanding wastewater treatment operations.
• entered into closed session to discuss litigation regarding the northwest interceptor project.