Delano to demolish 93 River Street building

The Delano City Council Tuesday, Aug. 21, approved an agreement for purchasing the property at 93 River St. S. from Park Midway Bank at a cost of $50,000. Councilors also authorized city staff to solicit bids for demolishing the building located on the property.

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

 

RIVER STREET PURCHASE

City Administrator Phil Kern explained reasons for Delano to purchase 93 River Street. Over the years the city has attempted to reduce damage to property from flooding of the Crow River. Along River Street south of Bridge Avenue, Delano has purchased and removed three buildings from the flood plain. The building at 93 River Street is the last one on the city’s shopping list for flood-endangered structures in the area.

Kern said the basement of the building has a 17-foot elevation related to the Crow River. (Over the past several years spring flooding of the Crow River has surpassed the 17-foot level). Once the building is removed, the site can be tied into Delano’s invisible flood wall/river front project. The floodwall would end just before the site, which could be a flat area for picnic tables and recreation.

Administrator Kern said the property has been on Delano’s shopping list for a number of years, but up until now the price was too steep. Back in 2005 the building was sold between private parties for $65,000. When Delano asked the new property owner about a purchase price, he asked for a much higher amount.

In 2007 the property was appraised at $170,000. The City Council thought the price was too high and ceased negotiations for the property with Tim Olson, who then was owner. In 2010, Olson said the property was worth $253,000 and Delano again stopped negotiating.

Now Park Midway Bank owns 93 River St., which is on city tax roles for $54,500. The bank has agreed with Delano on a purchase price of $50,000. The state of Minnesota has awarded Delano 50 percent of the cost of purchase, demolition and restoration of the property — up to $40,000. Kern estimated that it would cost Delano $80,000 to purchase the property and demolish the building.

City Councilor Dan Vick said he did not support the purchase of the property because he would rather see the money spent on roads.

Mayor Dale Graunke said the proposal was “an opportunity to get it now at a reasonable price.”

When the City Council voted, the tally was four for the purchase and one (Vick) against.

 

EMERALD ASH BORER THREAT

Public Works Director Ernie Eden said Delano has been planning to protect the city from the Emerald Ash Borer in case it would spread this far.

In March the city of Delano was awarded a $22,400 grant for planting a diversified community forest within Central Park. This Community Forest Bonding Grant is coming from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Since March, Dan Sjordal, a landscape designer, has created “an aesthetically pleasing layout” for Central Park, Eden said. The plan consists of a number of different varieties of trees. City staff worked with two tree farms to come up with an affordable price list for trees — making it possible to incorporate more mature trees into the plan. It calls for planting 68 trees within the park.

Eden asked for and got City Council approval of the tree purchase. He expected planting to start in mid-September for most of the trees. Planting of river birch would take place next spring.

 

RANDY’S VARIANCE

The City Council also approved a request from Randy’s Environmental Services for a variance from Delano’s wetland setback requirements. The variance enables Randy’s to construct a 980-square-foot addition to its recycling center to house a storage area for roll-off containers used during the processing of recycled materials.

City Planner Alan Brixius noted that in 2011 Randy’s received City Council approval for constructing a recycling center/transfer station and refuse/garbage disposal center. Plans called for the storage area to be outdoors on the west side of the recycling center. But recently the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency told Randy’s that the outdoor storage area violates PCA requirements. The storage area must be located inside.

According to city ordinances, buildings must be set back at least 25 feet from wetland buffers. The storage addition would be 10 feet from the wetland buffer strip.

 

OTHER

The City Council also:

APPROVED the purchase of two used trucks at a cost of $90,628.50, along with a new plow wing and cab shields at a cost of $17,199.25. The trucks are 2001 and 2003 models that would replace two 1990 vintage trucks with trade-in values of $10,000 each.

TABLED a proposal to replace 14 skylights at the Public Works building — many of which are leaking. Bids have ranged from $14,705 to $21,081.61.

MOVED the date of the next City Council meeting from Tuesday, Sept. 4 to Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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