By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN The Delano City Council approved the acceptance of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Assistance Grant at its meeting April 7.
The Delano Economic Development Authority (EDA)/ Crow River Villa Apartments have been given an additional grant through the ARRA assistance grant. This will be used for creating a more energy-efficient and safe environment for the housing authority through capital improvements.
Most of the funding will be used to replace the gas stoves with electric stoves in all 30 units. In a report to the council, housing coordinator Tammy Matthees said this is not only for energy savings, but for the safety of residents as there have been instances where gas has either been turned on by mistake or left on after cooking.
She said this project will take place around January through March 2010. She said the exact time will depend on coordinating all of the contractors so that the project will be completed smoothly with as little interruption of service to the residents as possible.
The rest of the funding will be used to start a window replacement project. This project was slated to be done with part of the five-year capital funding grants, and management will now be able to get a jump start on the window project with this additional grant, Matthees noted in her memo.
Council Member Holly Schrupp and Mayor Joe McDonald were absent from the meeting.
Temporary easements granted for construction
The council also authorized the use of city property to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for the Bridge Avenue improvement project.
In order to complete improvements approved by the city and state, temporary construction easements have been requested on city-owned property abutting Bridge Avenue.
These temporary construction easements are planned to expire June 30, 2010.
The council also discussed being unable to obtain an easement from Xcel Energy, which is why plans right now call for the sidewalk to narrow prior to its property.
“We weren’t confident we could get the easement by the bid date, but we are still planning to try to get it an make the sidewalk the full width,” City Administrator Phil Kern said.
Council Member Larry Bartels asked what the issue was with Xcel Energy and why the easement hasn’t been obtained.
Kern said it’s not a lack of cooperation from the company, but rather a lot of “bureaucracy” within the company that needs to be dealt with before the easement can be granted.
“I’m optimistic about having this done by the end of April,” Kern said, noting the project and plans will proceed forward with plans for the project and add that part of the sidewalk in at a later date.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• tabled a Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteer policy.
Two of the three members of the council who were present at the meeting had not had the chance to review the policy prior to the meeting due to technology/e-mail issues.
The council will discuss the issue at its Tuesday, April 21 meeting.
• amended the purchase agreement with Leland Shrode of Leland and Sons Auto to state the city, as the buyer, will cover closing costs associated with the city purchasing Shrode’s property from the floodplain of the Crow River as it did with other similar purchases.