BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Delano City Council members had their first chance to learn of a new business proposed for the intersection of Highway 12 and Rockford Avenue West, near Peppermint Twist, during Tuesday’s meeting.
Catherine Rose presented her plan for a business called Sweet Greens, which would consist of a nursery, farm market, coffee shop, and breakfast stop.
“We have so many nursery people that travel into the city to work who can have referrals here,” Rose said. “I started with that, just knowing that business. I sold out at Peterson’s Produce. People don’t have anyone to help them. The nurseries that do exist aren’t open long enough . . . I’m a huge advocate for local businesses and local farms to be able to present their produce made right here.”
Rose believes her business plan is unique.
“There isn’t anything like this in Minnesota right now,” Rose said.
Duane Northagen, of the Wright County Economic Development Partnership, is assisting with the business plan, and Rose has applied for a grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, she said.
Rose’s plan includes beautifying the lot with landscaping; rehabilitating the existing building and renting it out as a garage; and adding other areas that could be rented out by individuals such as massage therapists, landscape gardeners, tree trimmers, or hardscape specialists.
She asked the council to rezone the lot to allow for products outside of a building to be sold.
City Administrator Phil Kern said that may not be necessary.
“We would alter the B-2 (zoning) guidelines to make this a conditional use,” Kern said. “It wouldn’t be rezoning, but adding a use so anyone in the B-2 (zone) could do a similar use.”
Mayor Dale Graunke agreed that adding a conditional use to the existing zoning area would be preferred over changing the zoning to allow a business such as an implement dealer in that area, which would not fit into the city’s comprehensive plan.
No action was required, as Rose has submitted only a concept application.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved a total of about $82,487 in change orders for the infrastructure improvement project to pay for three changes: switching new water main pipe material from ductile iron to PVC; changes to the parking lot between River Street, Second Street, Bridge Avenue and Railroad Avenue, including the addition of a concrete island in the center of the lot and replacing of existing street lights and trees along the east side of Second Street; and milling and overlaying Northwood Drive and Rucks Farm Road in the Maple Wood Estates development in southeast Delano, which have needed continual patching from public works staff.
• approved the purchase of two blinking crosswalk signs, at a cost of about $4,000 from the capital improvement fund, at the crosswalk between the St. Peter Avenue sidewalk and the Delano Crossing shopping mall. The city will also look into painting a different crosswalk design.
• on a 3-1 vote, with Councilwoman Holly Schrupp opposed and Councilman Jason Franzen absent, approved the design and use policy for a public fireplace in downtown Riverfront Park. The fireplace will cost the city about $11,000 from the capital improvement fund. Also regarding the park, the council voted unanimously to spend about $7,300, in addition to a donation of up to $6,000 from the General Federated Women’s Club of Delano, for four signs containing information about Delano in the park. The council thanked the GFWC for the contribution.
• adopted an ordinance amendment regarding peddlers, transient merchants, solicitors, and mobile food units. The amendment made the following changes: requiring applicants to cover the cost of a background check, which is about $15; maintaining the cost of $15 per day while adding options of $25 per week or $75 per month; allowing these permits to be approved administratively, rather than requiring council approval; and limiting solicitor hours to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. or dusk, rather than 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. as was proposed.
• reviewed a concept plan from Delano Public School District for the school campus. It was noted that the Delano Planning Commission had reviewed the plan and received comments about grading and drainage, which the city and school district are addressing. The next step will be for the district to submit a planned unit development application.
• accepted the resignation of three firefighters: Allen Rolf after 18 years of service, Troy Meyer after 17 years of service, and Steve Zitzloff after 12 years of service. The council thanked them for their service. The council also approved the status change from probationary firefighter to firefighter for Mike Mellgen and Tom Hamm, who joined the department in November of 2014, and recently completed about 200 hours of required training.