BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Following a closed hearing during Tuesday’s Delano City Council meeting, the council directed City Administrator Phil Kern on how to negotiate with two businesses interested in expanding into the West Metro Business Park. One of the businesses is from this area, while the other is currently located outside the area, Kern said.
The lots included in the negotiation are in the northwest portion of the park, closest to Highway 12. While commercial development would be allowed in the lot closest to the highway, both businesses involved in negotiations are industrial in nature.
Kern is hopeful that the negotiations will be concluded within a few weeks.
In addition to those formal negotiations, he said three additional businesses have expressed interest in locating in the business park.
Currently, the only development confirmed for the site is a complex owned by Randy’s Rentals doing business as Randy’s Environmental Services.
“Randy’s might start moving dirt this fall,” Kern said. “The plan is to start construction in the spring. It could be a busy spring out there.”
New developments would fill the void left by Insolution Manufacturing and Pizzey Ingredients, as Kern said the proposed Insolution development is “off the table,” while the Pizzey Ingredients proposal is currently not going forward. If it were to re-emerge as a possibility, it would need to be located on a different site due to the current negotiations for development on the site that was originally proposed.
“If Pizzey comes back, we have places to put them,” Kern said.
The city had also planned to purchase $102,000 in wetland credits to mitigate wetlands on the proposed Insolution site. With that project not advancing, Kern said, “The cost is so expensive, it makes more sense to work with the land the way it is.”
“We approved construction of a new levee a couple years ago with the intent that, once that was complete, we’d begin the process of removing the old levee,” Kern said.
After soliciting for bids from six contractors, the city received a bid from Matt Bullock Contracting Co, Inc., of St. Michael, in the amount of $91,657, nearly $10,000 less than the engineer’s estimate of $101,600.
The old levee, constructed in 1969, is west of Wallace Street.
“It will remove the old levee and push dirt into the Granite Works area, and level it all out,” Kern said. “It should change the water drainage of that area away from homes on Wallace Street.”
Kern said the location of the old levee contributed to one of the more challenging areas when it comes to flood protection.
“We typically have to set up pumps because water infiltrates behind the levee and rises up from the ground,” Kern said. “With the old levee in place, there was no place for it to go.”
There is not a specific date for the project, but Kern said it would be completed before winter.
A public meeting regarding the project could take place as early as Tuesday, Oct. 9. Contact Delano City Hall at 763-972-0550 for more information.