Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
City denies request from Leland and Sons; eminent domain proceedings taking place
November 23, 2009

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

DELANO, MN – A resolution denying a development application from Leland and Sons Auto Service was passed by the Delano City Council at Tuesday night’s meeting.

It was noted negotiations between the City of Delano and Leland and Sons Auto Service have stalled out, with the city attempting to take possession of the property as part of its floodplain acquisition grant.

The property, located on Highway 12 and Rockford Avenue, is part of the city’s floodplain property acquisition that it received a grant for several years back. This is the last piece of property the city is hoping to acquire, according to Delano City Administrator Phil Kern.

At a city council meeting March 3, the council approved a purchase/relocation agreement, as well as paperwork to begin the process of eminent domain to ensure the city would complete the acquisition process by June 30, utilizing the grant funding available for the project.

The purchase and relocation has not happened, and now the city is underway with eminent domain proceedings, since the negotiations have stalled for the property and relocation.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, the council took action denying a minor subdivision for a proposed relocation of Leland and Sons, as well as a site plan and review, conditional use permits, and several other things associated with the relocation. Since the relocation plan that was originally presented is not taking place, this was a formality to close the application that had previously been presented.

Council Member Betsy Stolfa asked if there is anything preventing Leland and Sons from reapplying for the permits again down the road, to which Kern said there is not.

“We’ve extended this as long as we can under state law,” Kern said of the request.

Kern said after the meeting that the state has extended the deadline for the City of Delano through June 30, 2010, to utilize the grant funds. Through eminent domain, the city could take possession of the property early next year.

Utility commission position remains open

A vacancy was created on Delano’s Utility Commission when Sam Nelson passed away Oct. 4.

The city advertised the vacancy and requested applications from residents. As of the council meeting, the city had received two applications – one from Harlan Lewis and one from Derek Schansberg. An appointment will eventually be made to the commission by the council.

Stolfa said she would like to interview the candidates.

Mayor Joe McDonald agreed, noting it’s been “very fruitful” in the past to interview candidates for respective positions.

Council Member Larry Bartels indicated he heard people didn’t necessarily know about the vacancy.

“I’m glad two people did apply, but I’ve been told people didn’t know about it,” Bartels said.

After more discussion, it was decided to leave the position open for the time being, with applications still being accepted, and interviews being set for Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Bridge Avenue improvements approved

Recently, city staff sought quotes for benches, trash receptacles, and planters to be included in the Bridge Avenue area improvements.

The council approved ordering two benches and two receptacles from Victor Stanley at a cost of $4,125, which includes shipping charges.

The council also approved tile for planters, at a cost of $9,251 from Victor Stanley, which also includes shipping charges.

Funding for these improvements will come from the Bridge Avenue fund.

Council Member Brad Hotchkiss abstained from voting on this issue.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• approved the implementation of a Delano EDA/Crow River Villa procurement policy.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is requiring a written procurement policy in order to make use of the $42,000 grant that the Delano EDA/Crow River Villa has been awarded for the replacement of gas stoves to electric.

The only changes that were made to the a sample policy provided by HUD was the name “Delano EDA/Crow River Villa” being added in the appropriate spots, and the city’s purchasing dollar amounts have been inserted as they are more stringent that the HUD amounts for smaller purchases.

“This is not something that affects the residents as it pertains to purchasing building supplies and contracts, so no notice will be sent to the residents at this time,” commented Housing Director Tammy Matthees in her memo to the council.

• approved a request from Schad Tracy Signs and Delano True Value for an amendment to their sign permit, allowing them to move an existing sign from the north side of the building to the west side in order to increase visibility from eastbound traffic on Highway 12.

In May 2008, the conditional use permit that was approved for the building specifically did not allow for signage on the west side in order to prevent issues with “light pollution/glare” onto the adjoining property, which is proposed as the site of a hotel.

City Administrator Phil Kern noted there is no immediate news on the hotel, just that the project is still in the works, but no construction date has been set. It was also noted that Fantastic Sam’s Hair Salon has signage on the west side of the building.


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