By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN On a split vote, the Delano City Council voted to make Crow River Villa Apartments a smoke-free facility.
Originally, there were four units “grandfathered” in as smoking units, with that number being pared down to two units due to move-outs.
These two units will require more painting work as it will not be possible to just touch up as will be able to be done in other nonsmoking apartments, said housing director Tammy Matthees.
Notice will be given as of Oct. 1 that the building will be smoke-free as of Jan. 1, 2010, which is a three-month notification.
“I can’t vote in favor of this,” Delano Mayor Joe McDonald said, adding he doesn’t feel it is right for government to step in and tell people what they can or cannot do in their homes.
Discussion took place as to if there should be a designated smoking area, and Matthees said residents can smoke on their patios and outside.
She said she has made residents who will be affected by the change aware that a change is coming regarding smoking in the building.
The motion passed, with council members Holly Schrupp, Brad Hotchkiss, and Larry Bartels voting in favor, and McDonald and Council Member Betsy Stolfa voting against it.
The change will go into effect Jan 1, 2010.
Contract with sheriff’s office approved
The council approved its agreement with the Wright County Sheriff’s Office for 2010-11.
Every two years, the council is presented a contract for services, and establishes 16 hours of service in Delano per day during 2010-11. The cost of this is $57.50 per hour in 2010, and $59 in 2011.
The contract provides the city the opportunity to annually amend its hours of service by notifying the county prior to Aug. 15 for the following calendar year.
The council entered into the contract, noting it will review the number of hours it is contracting for in November prior to approval of the city’s final budget, with Bartels voting against the motion.
“I think they do a great job for us,” Bartels said, noting he voted against the motion only because of budgetary concerns that he wanted to address before entering into the contract.
Contract entered into for use of playground equipment
The city approved a contract with Delano Public Schools for city use of excess playground equipment.
This summer, Delano Schools replaced its two major playground areas around the elementary school facility. The playgrounds that were removed were declared excess equipment by the Delano School Board and have been targeted for disposal.
The Delano Park Board discussed the playground equipment at its Aug. 19 meeting, and recommended the city enter into an agreement with the school district for future use in city parks, according to a memo to the council from City Administrator Phil Kern.
The equipment has been examined by city staff and is in good, used condition, Kern noted.
There will likely need to be some parts and refurbishing needed with the help of Landscape Structures when the playground equipment will be installed. The park board has identified a number of park areas Highland Ridge/Clover Springs, Krienke Park, or Woodland Meadows Park that could be possible locations for the equipment.
By declaring the equipment excess property, the school district is not seeking any compensation for the equipment. The city will be responsible for removal, storage, and reconstruction.
City staff recommended the park board identify a location and seek a quote from Landscape Structures to help assemble the equipment in a city park yet this fall, if possible.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• waived fees and rules regarding food and drink in the city council chambers to allow for a reception to honor Queen of the Lakes Alex Forster, a former Miss Delano.
The Delano Royalty Organization is planning to host a reception for Forster in October and will serve bars or cookies and juice.
• approved the Delano Jaycees to sell outfield banners to fundraise for improvements to Central Park.
• approved a pay request from Eagle Construction for $20,938 for work on the east side stormwater lift station.
• entered into attorney/client privilege to discuss Leland and Sons eminent domain process.