BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN A surplus of about $140,000 in the 2016 street project will help pay for a parking lot expansion at Central Park, with the remainder coming from Local Government Aid.
Assistant City Engineer Shawn Louwagie presented two options to the Delano City Council Tuesday.
One option would be to continue the current parking lot about 530 feet to the northeast, keeping the current parking lot width of 72 feet, which would have added 100 standard parking stalls and five handicap parking stalls at an estimated cost of about $198,736.
Another option would be to continue the current parking lot about 710 feet to the northeast, with a portion of it 72 feet wide and a portion of it 105 feet wide to add 153 standard parking stalls, six handicap parking stalls, and seven motorcycle parking stalls.
That option was estimated to cost about $328,608, but Mayor Dale Graunke offered another option: leaving the lot unpaved for a year or two. That change would reduce the upfront cost by nearly $146,000, Graunke estimated.
City Administrator Phil Kern said the new amount would need to be confirmed with the contractor. He added that the lot could be paved when a contractor extends Railroad Avenue, likely in 2018, or as part of the 2019 street project.
“We get the best bang for the buck when we combine with street projects,” Kern said. “It may be better bang for the buck to combine it with the 2019 project.”
He emphasized that the lot must only be unpaved on a temporary basis, as city ordinance requires curb and gutter for parking lots in the city.
Councilwoman Holly Schrupp asked if not having curb and gutter would affect the city’s stormwater capacity, and Louwagie said it would not.
The parking lot will include a center driving aisle to retain access to the compost site.
Graunke has heard from community members about the need for more parking at Central Park.
“I myself got complaints that there was no place to park,” Graunke said.
He believes the additional parking stalls should alleviate the situation.
In related business, the council approved the Highland Ridge trail connection at a cost of $20,295, to be paid by park dedication funds, and decided not to spend $72,712 for a 17-stall parking lot near the labyrinth across from Peppermint Twist.
“That whole neighborhood, the more you can connect it, the better,” Councilwoman Betsy Stolfa said of the trail connection.
On the contrary, several council members raised concerns about the labyrinth parking lot.
Councilman Jason Franzen said he opposed paving a parking lot there because lefthand turns should not be allowed.
Schrupp raised concerns about the orientation of the proposed parking lot and the issue of headlights shining onto Highway 12.
Councilman Jon Sutherland said he would like to prioritize correcting drainage issues over adding the paring lot.
Schrupp suggested revisiting the labyrinth parking lot in three years. Most likely, it will be revisited as part of the 2019 street project.
Splash pad rules
After much discussion at previous meetings, the council approved proposed splash pad rules following a brief conversation confirming that individuals who rent the splash pad for parties between 10 a.m. and noon may stay later than noon without paying an additional fee.
The rules are as follows:
• The splash pad will be opened and closed by two attendees. City staff is talking with the school district about opportunities for sharing personnel.
• The splash pad will be regulated twice daily by a trained staff member. The chemicals going into the splash pad must be monitored daily by someone who is trained to do so, and the training is similar to what is undergone by those who monitor pools.
• The splash pad will operate daily from noon to 8 p.m. It will open on Memorial Day and close on Labor Day, unless determined otherwise by city staff. Weather will also play a factor in determining hours. If it is below 70 degrees, the attendants will close the splash pad. Also, the splash pad will close if there is lightning and will remained closed for 30 minutes after the last witnessed lightning strike.
• The splash pad will be available for private rental daily from 10 a.m. to noon. As part of this rental, users will also have access to the concession stand. Rental prices for the splash pad are as follows: $60 for 1-25 users; $100 for 26-50 users; $140 for 51 and more users. There is no maximum capacity for the splash pad. The splash pad can host up to three parties at once, but if users want to rent the splash pad exclusively, then it will cost $140.
• The fee at the gate will be $3 for users of all ages. There will not be a charge for babies who are stroller-bound. There will be a charge, however, for babies that can sit up and interact with the water, as there are fountains suitable for baby use.
• Should users want to purchase a season pass, it can be obtained at Delano City Hall. The season pass will utilize a barcode system similar to what is used at the TAC. Individual season passes will be available for $25 for Delano residents, $30 for families of Delano students and business employees, and $35 for non-residents.
• There will be a family maximum for season passes: $75 for City of Delano residents, $85 for families of Delano students and business employees, and $100 for non-residents. Season passes will not be applicable during rental events.
• The concession stand will be open for those utilizing the splash pad and operated by one of the attendants. There will also be an option that certain community groups can run the concession stand as part of a fundraiser. Food and beverages will not be allowed in the splash pad area.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• accepted the resignation of Logan Hoiland from the Delano Fire Department.
• approved a training burn and demolition of city-owned property at 510 Railroad Avenue.
• authorized the purchase of holiday décor lights for downtown at a cost of $3,622 from the streetscape budget.