Delano City Park to get new playground

BY SUSAN VAN CLEAF

svancleaf@acnpapers.com

The Delano City Council Tuesday, June 19, accepted the donation of a new playground structure for Delano Central Park from Landscape Structures International (LSI), a playground manufacturer based in Delano.

At the meeting, the City Council also took up other business. Here are some meeting highlights.

PLAYGROUND

The new playground structure is proposed for the area between ball fields 9 and 10 on the east side of Central Park. LSI will incorporate a prototype structure with the space net structure that currently occupies the site. The new equipment will replace older playground pieces that the Delano Lions donated several decades ago.

City Administrator Phil Kern noted that LSI has donated other playground structures to Delano, including those at Barb King Inspiration Park. The donated structures give LSI opportunities to test new playground concepts and showcase their work.

This time around, LSI wants to test a prototype playground structure that has electronic features, Kern said. LSI would like to locate the structure in a high traffic area that will attract various age groups of children, and the area near the ball fields is expected to meet these criteria. A slide, monkey bars, climbing apparatus and park benches are part of the proposal.

LSI plans to fund the entire project, and the city of Delano will facilitate construction.

DOWNTOWN MARKET

A citizens group has been working to bring a downtown market to Delano, but an obstacle has stood in the way – the cost of liability insurance. The Delano Lions have agreed to partner with the Downtown Market Group to solve the insurance problem.

The City Council on June 19, helped make the downtown market a reality by approving a lease agreement for the use of public property north of Bridge Avenue through the Granite Works property at the intersection of River Street and Elm Avenue.

The Downtown Market expects to host a variety of merchants selling produce, crafts and art on Saturday mornings during summer months. The Delano Food Council is a major organizer of the project, and Harlan Lewis is heading up Lions sponsorship efforts.

LSI IMPROVEMENTS

The City Council approved the use of $15,000 in development incentive (DIP) funds for LSI. The money will be used for storm water drainage improvements and rehabilitating a building at 702 Seventh St. S. in the Delano industrial park.

City Administrator Kern said the building has been vacant for several years and storm water drainage has become a problem for residents of the Maplewood Estate Addition located to the east. LSI has purchased the building and plans to use the property for expansion of its business operations. The playground manufacturer has been working with city staff to come up with solutions to the drainage problem.

Under state statutes, cities can use DIP money to provide incentives for private businesses to create jobs locally. To be eligible, companies must break ground for projects by June 30.

AIR CONDITIONER FOR HERITAGE CENTER

The City Council debated about how to deal with the fact that an air conditioner has failed at the Delano Heritage Center, the old Delano Village Hall. The city had spent more than $1,000 to repair the unit that failed. Meanwhile, Delano has applied for grant funds that would be used to upgrade mechanical equipment at the Heritage Center.

After looking at several stopgap options, city councilors decided to purchase an air conditioner.

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