BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Plans are in place to replace Central Park’s hamburger stand and Boy Scout pop stand with a larger, multipurpose concession building.
The Delano Park and Recreation Commission invited community groups who utilize the park to share feedback during Thursday’s meeting.
City Administrator Phil Kern said that preliminary plans call for the new building to be 1,800 square feet. In comparison, the existing hamburger stand and pop stand are 1,200 square feet combined.
The new facility would consist of a long, rectangular area for serving with two serving windows on each end and five serving windows along one side attached to a smaller rectangular kitchen area. All appliances and counters in the kitchen would be on wheels to allow for flexibility.
“We do not have a cost estimate on the building yet, partly because the thought is to do it with as much contributed labor and materials as possible,” Kern said.
“One reason we didn’t get hard numbers is because we want community input,” Chair Tom Schaffer added.
As for location of the new building, the 2010 master plan for Central Park called for it to be in about the same area as the existing bingo stand, which would then either be taken down and replaced with a different structure or moved.
“We’d like it facing the walking path because that’s where we’re centrally located,” said Nicole Kimball of Relay For Life. “We use the bingo stand, too. We put a huge silent auction there with 100-plus items. You can’t put that in a gazebo. The overall structure seems pretty strong. To not tear it down and just repair the benches seems more cost-effective.”
It was noted that the Delano Sportsmen’s Club and the Delano Boy Scouts would both be willing to help move the bingo stand and/or modify its benches and tables to make them more functional.
Jack Lynch, of the Delano Athletic Club, spoke in favor of replacing the hamburger stand and the Boy Scouts building.
“The Boy Scouts building and the hamburger stand have gone through two floods,” Lynch said. “Anyone who’s been down there recently and look at the hamburger stand, it’s leaning quite well to the west.”
Resident Steve Rogers asked if either building had been inspected. Schaffer noted they had not been inspected, but could be in the future.
John Tackaberry suggested the buildings may not need to be replaced.
“I suggest our buildings are as good as those at the Minnesota State Fair, the Itasca County Fair, and the Wright County Fair,” Tackaberry said.
Rogers said he would not like to see taxes increased to pay for a new park structure, and Tackaberry agreed.
“The reality is who pays for it?” Tackaberry asked. “I’m not buying a grant because grants don’t come from God, they come from taxpayers.”
Schaffer reiterated that the commission was seeking feedback before calculating the cost and determining where the funds would come from.
If a new building is approved, some suggestions for it include orientating it east and west and having paved access to it for vendor trucks to utilize.
It was also noted that the building would double as a storm shelter and would be better equipped to handle floods than the existing structures.
Odds and ends
In other business, the commission:
• decided to survey residents of the Fox Meadows neighborhood regarding the addition of a park in the area. The city has $82,000 in park-dedicated funds and had planned to build a park to the north of Fox Meadows, but the owner of that property declined. The city is now considering building a park on two lots south of the development.
• voiced approval of a labyrinth being installed across from Peppermint Twist on Highway 12. The proposal must also be reviewed by the Delano-Franklin Township Area Historical Society and the Delano Area Council for Arts and Culture, which is supporting the proposal. The Delano City Council will have the final say.
• tabled discussion of a new, $10,000 playground in Krienke Park to allow for the location and configuration of the equipment to be determined. The city was able to eliminate maintenance contracts at the park, which has saved $8,000 to date, and future savings would make up the cost difference.
• received an update on features at the River Street park along the South Fork of the Crow River. Features include interpretive signage, a bike repair station, a water bottle refilling station, a post showing past flood elevations, and, possibly, a mister. The goal is for those features to be complete by Memorial Day.