By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN A conditional use permit was granted by the Delano City Council to Combined Aggregate Enterprises and G. Sleypen Properties for a granite crushing operation near the intersections of Oak Avenue, Maple Avenue, and Wallace Street.
The company has purchased the former Granite Works site, and is in the process of salvaging and selling the larger pieces of usable granite. The rest of the granite on the property consists of large piles and buried granite from the old granite cutting industry.
To remove the remaining waste granite and reclaim the site, Combined Aggregate Enterprises needs to excavate and crush the granite into a usable product, according to a planning report prepared by Alan Brixius.
Co-owner Chad Kestner spoke at the council meeting, noting he has worked to meet with neighbors in the area, as well as representatives from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, and said his company strives to work with its neighbors.
“We want to make sure we keep everyone as happy and in the loop as possible and still function as a business,” Kestner said.
A granite crushing site will be located within Cramer Park, west of the dike, which will provide some separation between noise crushing operations and nearby homes. Hours of operation will be workdays between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The council also discussed dust control, truck traffic, stormwater/drainage system, and provisions to control and minimize noise, air, and water pollution.
Kestner invited the council and city staff to view the property anytime they would like.
“It’s a win-win situation,” Mayor Dale Graunke said, noting this is a good opportunity to clean up and reclaim a long-neglected site in town.
Wood chips, benches approved for trail
A proposal from the park and recreation committee ended with a split vote from the council.
Approval was given to purchase three benches and construct a wood chip walking path in the area of Highway 12 just west of the Crow River, from the Highway 12 bridge north to the lift station.
Council Member Dan Vick said he liked the idea, but felt dollars should be going toward street repairs, instead.
It was noted the park and recreation committee has agreed to donate its 2010 stipends of $1,050 toward the project, and the balance will come from the park improvement fund and from the general fund.
Park and Recreation Committee Chairman Joe Schleper said there is a lot more planned for that area, and said a lot of times, this area is people’s first impression of Delano. There are also plans in the works for grant funding for sculpture work along the trail.
The council approved moving forward with the project, with Vick voting against the motion.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved City Administrtor Phil Kern’s attendance at an International City/County Management Association (ICMA) conference in Milwaukee, WI, Sept. 17-21.
Kern estimated this conference will cost approximately $1,000, which is less than half of the typically budgeted costs. In recent years, the administration training and conference budget has included an amount of $2,500 for the conference, but has been trimmed due to budget constraints and financial challenges throughout the year.
• approved step increases for public works employees Paul Swearingen and Tim Matter.
Swearingen will be receiving $19.11 per hour, and Matter will be at $20.88 per hour.
Public Works Director Ernie Eden noted two-thirds of this comes from the general fund, and one-third would come from the sanitary sewer fund.
The council also authorized the hiring of seasonal employees for public works.
Due to the reduced amount of mowing as a result of contracting some of the parks, Eden was given the go-ahead to hire eight workers at 40 hours per week, and one worker at 18 hours per week, showing a reduction of 22 hours per week.
• approved a payment to Dan Bauer Builders for the Delano village hall facade project.
• approved a public facilities lease for use of Central Park for the annual Pair-A-Dice Cruisers event Saturday, Aug. 13.
• authorized the seeking of bids for its 2011 sealcoating projects. The city has budgeted $60,000 for this year’s project, and hopes to coat Highland Ridge, Davidson Avenue, Lyle Avenue (85th Street), and Raymond Avenue (90th Street).
• approved an agreement with Millsop Associates of Crosby for investigative work at the former Daily Grinde site on Highway 12.
After acquiring the property and demolishing the building, an underground storage tank was located and also removed. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) requires monitoring wells on the property.
• approved a resolution recognizing Rieder’s Meat Market’s centennial anniversary. Watch for more in a future edition.
• tabled a proposed resolution approving participation in a Green Step Cities program until further discussion on it can take place in a work session.
• noted its next work session will be Tuesday, May 31 at 7 a.m. at the city hall.
• entered into attorney/client privilege to discuss threatened litigation regarding an easement at 220 Babcock Boulevard. This property is owned by Absolute Automotive.