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Delano buys $102K in wetland credits for business park
May 11, 2018


DELANO, MN – With Insolution Manufacturing hoping to break ground on a new facility in the West Metro Business Park within two weeks, the city is working to prepare the business’ site.

That includes purchasing $102,453 in wetland credits, plus $6,659 in fees to the Board of Water and Soil Resources, for a total of $109,112.

Despite the cost, City Administrator Phil Kern confirmed “we still won’t be under water with that lot,” when Councilwoman Betsy Stolfa raised the question.

Delano City Council approved that transaction Tuesday on a 4-0 vote, with Councilwoman Holly Schrupp absent.

The city was required by the Army Corps of Engineers and Wetland Conservation Act Technical Evaluation Panel to purchase .98 acre of wetland credits in order to mitigate .49 acre of wetlands.

Initially, city staff believed the city would need to mitigate .79 acres of wetlands, but the Army Corps of Engineers requested alternative layouts to reduce or eliminate the impacts to the existing wetlands, prompting the proposed building to be shifted south.

Assistant City Engineer Shawn Louwagie explained that the credits were required to come from the North Fork of the Crow River watershed, and the only credits available were priced at $2.40 per square foot, compared to a rate of about 60 cents per square foot in 2013.

Kern added that the city had tried to keep a balance of wetland credits, but had used a large amount for the Highway 12 project in 2008 and 2009. Costs have increased due to increased development and increased demand for credits.

Kern said the city is eying wetland-related projects that would result in credits for the city to use on future projects.

Due to the May 1 council meeting being rescheduled to Tuesday, city staff had proceeded with processing paperwork for purchase of the credits prior to approval, Louwagie said.

June 2 events
The council approved necessary agreements, licenses, and request for road closure for the Delano Classics on the Crow event scheduled for Saturday, June 2, as well as a request from St. Maximilian Kolbe Church and School for the 10th annual River Street Jam set for the same day.

The car and motorcycle show will be 2-6 p.m. and utilize Bridge Avenue between River Street and Third Street, and Second Street between Elm Avenue and the parking lot entrance. Type 3 barricades will be required for all road closures, with the city providing two sets, though sawhorse barricades will be allowed to block alley access.

Stolfa confirmed that the fire department has an alternate exit for responding to emergencies with Second Street closed.

River Street Jam will take place 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. on River Street between Bridge Avenue and Railroad Avenue. The council approved a time extension from 12:30 a.m. in 2017 to 1 a.m. in 2018, after no complaints were received regarding the later time in 2017, and no public comments were submitted regarding the request despite property owners within 350 feet being notified of the application, per city ordinance.

The council approved these items on a 3-0 vote, as Mayor Dale Graunke had recused himself.

Look for a story in a future edition of the Delano Herald Journal for more information about these events.

Odds and ends
In other business, the council:

• approved draft plans for two sets of concrete bumpouts near the entrances to Central Park on River Street, and additional bumpouts at the crosswalk across Wright County Road 30 near Hidden Hills Drive. The city is also planning to add a fence along the west side of River Street, utilizing leftover funds from the concessions building project, though that fence has not yet been officially approved.

• amended the city’s mobile food units ordinance to allow them in Delano throughout the year, including during the 4th of July Celebration, an increase from 84 days, and tabled a plan to allow property owners to purchase a block of 50 one-day permits for $500, down from $20 each. That proposal was to simplify the process for applicants and city staff, but local ice cream truck operator Brent Foster questioned a cost of $500 to operate his truck in city limits for a season, stating that four other cities he researched had fees ranging from $150 to $300. Staff will research ice cream truck fees further.

• approved changes for park and city facility rentals, with Delano City Hall, but not council chambers, now available after hours. There will be no charge for city or school functions. For non-fundraising events, nonprofit organizations and community groups that conduct a majority of their activities in the city will receive a discounted rate for city hall and will not be charged for the community meeting room, grandstand, bingo stand, or gazebo. An updated listing of rental fees, other fees, deposit amounts, and categories for users is available at city hall, and will be available on the city’s website in the future.

• approved replacing plantings in the Highway 12 medians between Tiger Drive and County Line Road at an estimated cost of $3,000. Minnesota Department of Transportation must approve the plan drafted by Public Safety Coordinator Marlene Kittock and Schrupp.

• approved hiring seven splash pad attendants and five seasonal public works, with one or two more seasonal workers expected to be hired. A part-time employee will also be hired at Delano Wine & Spirits.

• awarded bids for painting at the Central Park concession building, pork chop stand, and beer stand to Gallus Painting, of Waverly. Painting the concession stand will cost $9,950, painting the beer stand will cost $2,500, and painting the pork chop stand will cost $1,600, for a total of $14,050. A second bidder had only submitted a bid for painting the concession building at a cost of $10,800.

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