BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Plans are in the works for Randy’s Rentals to construct two buildings on 11.28 acres in the West Metro Business Park.
The Delano City Council approved those plans 4-0, with Councilwoman Betsy Moran absent, Tuesday.
Plans call for a 21,000-square-foot office building and a 36,000-square-foot support building, with plans for a 105,000-square-foot expansion on land which Randy’s Rentals has the option to purchase.
Due to two buildings being proposed for one site, and an outdoor-storage component, Randy’s Rental applied for a conditional use permit, which the city granted. Regarding outdoor storage, the side of it facing McKinley Parkway will need to be screened, while the side facing the south will not because that is the site where future expansion is planned to take place.
“We believe flexibility is really important in this case because we’re anticipating future expansion, and Randy’s Rentals has an option on property to the south for future expansion,” City Planner Alan Brixius said.
The proposed buildings meet all requirements for setbacks and maximum building height, though screening will be required to conceal rooftop equipment.
A metal building will house the offices, but at least 25 percent of it will be glass, stone, or brick, satisfying the city’s requirements for the I-2 zoning district; while the support building will be constructed using tip-up panels.
Randy’s Rentals’ plan provides enough parking or proof of parking to comply with city requirements, but the company is required to enter into an agreement with the city to add parking if the city deems it necessary. Parking plans also comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Fire department personnel had raised concerns about the outdoor storage area being locked, but the department will have access to it in case of emergency. It was also determined that the proposed fire hydrant location was appropriate. If a future expansion is added, a fire lane inside a gated area would also be required.
Brixius said a unique aspect of the project is that Randy’s Rentals will construct a trail from McKinley Parkway to its office, as well as a recreational trail into a city-owned outlot. If the city needs to disturb that trail, the city will not be held liable for costs associated with doing so.
Councilman Jon Sutherland said he was impressed to see Randy’s Rentals, its architect, and contractor address issues point-by-point.
“It’s very exciting,” Councilwoman Holly Schrupp added. “I can’t wait to see the finished product.”
Nearly $3.1 million in bonds sold
A total of $3,075,000 in bonds have been sold to fund three different projects.
Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc., in collaboration with 25 additional entities, purchased the 20-year bonds for $3,083,516 with a true interest rate of 3.29202 percent and expected net interest of $1,223,233.
Another bid, from SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc. and two other entities, came in at a price of $3,077,427; a true interest rate of 3.294 percent; and expected net interest cost of $1,222,222.
The third and final bid from Northland Securities and two other entities offered a price of $3,075,537, an interest rate of 3.4367 percent, and a net interest cost of $1,272,488.
City staff had anticipated an interest rate of about 3.25 percent.
As part of the bond process, the city’s AA bond rating, the third highest available, was affirmed.
The bonds will cover the cost of moving a water main on the school campus, extending Railroad Avenue, and McKinley Parkway improvements.
Delano School District is paying for the water main and property owners who will benefit from the McKinley Parkway improvements will be assessed.
Basketball championship sign application
Minnesota Department of Transportation will soon be reviewing an application from the city for the addition of a sign recognizing the boys basketball team’s Class 3A state championship beneath the population signs on Highway 12, as the council approved the application Tuesday.
If approved by MnDOT, the Delano Basketball Association will cover the costs associated with the signs, and city staff would assist with installation.
In addition to applying for these signs, the council also approved guidelines for such signs going forward.
Only Minnesota State High School League championships will be recognized with a sign. Because cities are limited to two such signs, the two most recent championships would be recognized, while city staff would work to develop another option to recognize all teams involved.
If a team wins more than one championship, the years of each championship would be added to their established sign.
In all cases, the school district, booster program, or athletic association will be responsible for paying the costs of the sign and any future replacement costs if the sign is damaged or needs repair.
Finally, signs are expected to remain displayed for 12 years, as that is the expected lifespan of a reflective highway sign, though that timeframe could be amended in the future, City Administrator Phil Kern said.
Philip Wishart of the Delano Basketball Association thanked the council for the support. He said the association is also exploring options for additional wooden signs and may be requesting a variance from the city to do so at some point.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved an amended grading plan for Clover Springs Fourth Addition. During the June 5 meeting, the council had discussed this issue at length with a homeowner currently living in the development who had approached them with concerns. Mayor Dale Graunke said the problem that was identified and addressed by City Engineer Shawn Louwagie, working with the developer’s engineer, should never have happened.
• appointed Kenji Matsuda to probationary firefighter status.
• approved a request from Delano United Diversity Task Force for a community potluck from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25. Portions of Second Street North between Bridge Avenue and the south entrance of Delano City Hall’s north parking lot will be closed. The potluck will focus on sharing food and stories from participants’ ethnic heritage.
• learned that the 71- and 100-mile routes for Tour de Tonka will once again roll through Delano Saturday, Aug. 4, using Central Park as a rest stop.