BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Delano’s Spirit of Community Commission is taking shape, as the city council interviewed and appointed four applicants to the commission Tuesday evening.
Ted May was appointed chair and will serve a three-year term, Sara Grosshuesch was appointed to a three-year term, Tammy Frommelt was appointed to a two-year term, and Steve Rogers was appointed to a one-year term.
“Let me just say the council was very happy with all four candidates who applied,” Kern said. “The council did discuss whether each person was a good fit for the commission. The council took time to evaluate each applicant on the merits of their application. They didn’t just approve the four of them because they were the only four who applied.”
Kern explained why the commissioners were appointed to varying lengths of terms.
“The terms for commissioners are three years,” City Administrator Phil Kern said Wednesday. “The council did not appoint each of these people to a three-year term because they didn’t want four vacancies and no opportunities (for others) for the next two years. We’re staggering people to start. There was no priority put on who got a one-, two-, or three-year term, and all people are encouraged to reapply. It’s not that they thought the person who got a one-year term was less qualified, but we had to stagger them somehow.”
Mayor Dale Graunke will serve as the city council’s liaison to the commission, while Delano Senior Center and Community Services Coordinator Nick Neaton will serve as city staff liaison to the commission. Neaton said he will not have a vote on the commission, but Graunke will.
The commission will also include Delano Public Schools Superintendent Matt Schoen, a representative of the Delano Area Chamber of Commerce, and a representative from the local faith community.
“There’s one more vacancy that the council will re-advertise for in January when it does all the other commissions,” Kern said. “We will proceed with an open seat.”
The commission’s first meeting will likely be sometime in late December, Kern said.
The commission will study, investigate, and make recommendations regarding health, safety, community involvement, and equal treatment of all persons who are members of the Delano community, while also promoting an atmosphere of mutual understanding and cooperation among community members by building the spirit of community and improving public engagement.
The council discussed the West Metro Business Park, as the city will now be handling the marketing and sales of lots at the park after the council approved purchasing it Oct. 17.
“We talked about a commission structure we’ll offer to brokers, rather than offering the listing to one broker,” Kern said. “We’ll be offering commission to any broker who brings a tenant into the park.”
Prices for the lots were also discussed.
“We’re going to be listing the land with highway frontage at $3 per square foot going forward. It was $4 per square foot,” Kern said. “We’re going to be listing industrial land at $1.50 per square foot. That had previously been listed at $2.50 per square foot.”
Even with the reduced prices, Kern believes the city will be able to recoup the costs of the investment into the park once lots are sold, though he is not sure how long that will take.
“I couldn’t tell you it will take a full build out or 60 percent build out,” Kern said. “Until we know who’s coming in, we don’t know how much revenue will be gained from people building there. Based on the numbers we have, those land sale dollars will cover the investment we have.”
He indicated that one local business has expressed interest in the business park, as has one business currently located in a different community, though no development proposals have been presented and no point-of-purchase agreements have been signed.
The council accepted a bid of $24,250 from Berg Exteriors, of Maple Plain, for setting trusses and construction work to prepare for the ceiling and roof of the concession building at Central Park.
A bid of $15,300 for installation of a metal roof, sofit, and fascia, from BV Construction, of Buffalo, was also approved.
Kern said the roofing bid was under estimate, while the construction bid was in line with the estimate.
He said the project has a budget of $387,500 to $425,000, and is currently on budget. He shared the structure for the project.
“We’re acting as the general contractor for the project, which is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort and balancing, but the payoff is we’re saving a considerable amount doing it this way,” Kern said.
Next, the city will be soliciting bids for plumbing, electrical, mechanical, overhead doors, and concrete floors.