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Three fire departments respond to fire at Delano Munipal Utilities building

Firefighters from Delano, Watertown, and Montrose responded to a report of smoke coming from the ceiling and roof of the Delano Municipal Utilities building Tuesday afternoon. No one was injured. Bridge Avenue is closed between Highway 12 and River Street. The fire occurred when utility employees were conducting a required annual test of the generators. Foreman Jim Griebel said the utility’s priority is maintaining services outside the plant.

Firefighters from Delano, Watertown, and Montrose responded to a report of smoke coming from the ceiling and roof of the Delano Municipal Utilities building Tuesday afternoon. No one was injured. Bridge Avenue is closed between Highway 12 and River Street. The fire occurred when utility employees were conducting a required annual test of the generators. Foreman Jim Griebel said the utility’s priority is maintaining services outside the plant.

Anderson takes gold in 100M breaststroke at Special Olympics USA Games

Eric Anderson, of Delano, took gold in his 100-meter breaststroke at the Special Olympics USA Games. He is pictured with coach Kristin Nelson. See a future edition of the Delano Herald Journal for more coverage of Anderson's time competing at the national level.

Eric Anderson, of Delano, took gold in his 100-meter breaststroke at the Special Olympics USA Games. He is pictured with coach Kristin Nelson. See a future edition of the Delano Herald Journal for more coverage of Anderson’s time competing at the national level.

Granite chip has been found

DELANO, MN – It took some uncovering, but the granite chip has been found.

Jacob Olson and Jerry Wunderlich found the granite chip Wednesday.

Jacob Olson and Jerry Wunderlich found the granite chip Wednesday.

Jacob Olson and Jerry Wunderlich found the chip in Krienke’s Woodland Road Park, and turned it in to Delano City Hall at 4:58 p.m. Wednesday.

For finding the chip, the duo won $100 cash from the Delano Fourth of July Committee.

The chip was wrapped in a brown paper bag and hidden in the wood chips near the park’s playground.

Here is an explanation of the clues:

CLUE #1 – Monday, June 25, 2018

The fourth is almost here,

We’re about to start the race.

Take a second to uncover the Granite Chip, (chip was disguised in woodchips)

And you’ll come in first place. (first = park entrance is on 1st Street.)

CLUE #2 – Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Make a playdate, have a picnic, (park location)

You’ll have to “brown-bag” it. (chip hidden in brown bag)

The fourth is a busy time,

The whole town is swamped! (the park is near a large swamp)

GRANITE CHIP CLUE #3 – Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Make your way towards the circle (the playground is enclosed in a circle, chip hidden against circle)

All are welcome to seek the prize (sign says “Welcome to Krienke’s Woodland Road Park)

Drive in to Delano (park located just west of Peppermint Twist Drive In)

And unearth your camouflaged prize. (chip hidden in wood chips)

Delano fire relief pension to increase

DELANO, MN – Delano firefighters will receive a larger pension after their service concludes following action by the Delano City Council Tuesday.

“They approved the fire relief pension increase $100 to $3,300 per year per person,” City Administrator Phil Kern said. “We have a written policy that pretty much dictates if their funding threshold is at a certain level it warrants a certain increase.”

Kern said he and the council were encouraged by the ability to increase the pension, which has not always been the case.

“There’s a long story to be told about the fire relief pension and how ugly it was and how under-funded it was 10 years ago,” Kern said.

Odds and ends
In other business, the council:

• discussed the 2019 street improvement project. Kern and City Engineer Shawn Louwagie will begin creating a feasibility study for the next street project and present that information to the council during the Tuesday, July 24, workshop.

• directed city staff to create driveway accesses on Railroad Avenue.

• learned that yellow bollard posts will be used to create bump-outs at crosswalks on River Street near Central Park. Originally, concrete bump-outs were planned, but a review of that proposal showed doing so would have created a drainage problem.

Mid-County Coop purchases Mark’s Service in Waverly

SPONSORED POST – After 43 years and seven months, Mark Karels is retiring as the owner of Mark’s Service in Waverly.

He sold the business – including a car wash, gas station, and convenience store – to Mid-County Coop effective June 21. Mid-County has been serving the Waverly area for many years, and General Manager Bill Reimers said he is looking forward to the coop’s continued community involvement.

Although much of the business is staying the same, customers may notice a few small changes. The new name, for instance, will be Mid-County of Waverly. Also, since the Tesoro brand is being phased out nationwide, the gas station will be rebranded sometime this fall.

“Compliments to Mark for running a good business,” Reimers said. “We plan to continue to operate as Mark did, as a successful convenience store. We’re keeping all the employees, and just building upon Mark’s successes.”

Karels has deep roots in the Waverly area. He grew up three miles south of the city limits, and currently lives in town, right next to his former business.

“Mark Karels has been and is a leader in the community, whether on city council, as fire chief, or as owner of Mark’s,” Waverly Mayor Connie Holmes noted. “You can always count on him to participate in every city event in a big way.”

Karels and his wife, Virginia (who goes by “Giny”), recently purchased 10.3 acres south of Waverly. They’re looking into either remodeling the home  that’s on the property or building a new one. Either way, Karels expects the project will keep him plenty busy for the first couple years of his retirement.

Although he’s excited about retirement, Karels said he will miss many of his customers, and he is grateful for their loyalty over the years.

“It takes customers to keep a business going,” he commented.

For Mid-County Coop, the opportunity to purchase the gas station, car wash, and convenience store in Waverly was an ideal fit. Mid-County already has a bulk fuel business in Waverly, having purchased Padden Oil Company in 2000 and Howard Lake/Waverly Oil in 2003.

“We are happy that [Karels] has sold the station  to such a reputable company,” Holmes noted. “Looking forward, we know that Mid-County will be an equally valued member of the Waverly business community.”

Mid-County Coop is locally owned and operated in Cologne, a community that’s similar to Waverly in many ways. They are both rural with strong agricultural districts, and they are similar in size. The 2016 population estimate was 1,598 for Cologne, and 1,412 for Waverly.

“Waverly is growing quickly, with nearly 80 new homes built in the last two years,” Holmes commented.

In 2019, Waverly will celebrate its 150th anniversary. The community has attracted many residents due to housing, schools, and recreational opportunities.

Mid-County of Waverly can be reached at (763) 658-4662. The business is located at 801 Pacific Ave. (just off Highway 12), and is open Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Mark Karels recently sold Mark’s Service in Waverly to Mid-County Coop. Pictured are: store manager Missie Beckmann, Mid-County Coop General Manager Bill Reimers, Giny Karels, Mark Karels, and Waverly Mayor Connie Holmes.

Mark Karels recently sold Mark’s Service in Waverly to Mid-County Coop. Pictured are: store manager Missie Beckmann, Mid-County Coop General Manager Bill Reimers, Giny Karels, Mark Karels, and Waverly Mayor Connie Holmes.

Highway 25 detour changes

MONTROSE, MN – Motorists who travel Highway 25 between Montrose and Watertown are now encountering a new detour route as one segment of the road opened, and another closed, Monday, June 25.

Motorists should plan their travel, and expect the following:

• Highway 25 between Highway 12 in Montrose and Wright County Road 30/90th Street is open.

• Highway 25 between Wright County Road 10/Jefferson Avenue in Watertown and Wright County Road 30/90thStreet, located north of Watertown, has closed. Motorists should follow the signed detour along County Road 10, County Road 13, and County Road 30, or plan their own alternate route. Get map.

All lanes of Highway 25 between Watertown and Montrose will open by early August.

The closures are needed as part of a project to improve Highway 25 between Seventh Street in Montrose and County Road 10/Jefferson Avenue in Watertown. The project will resurface or reconstruct segments of the road, replace three underground pipes and one box culvert bridge, install new LED stop signs at the Highway 25/Wright County Road 30 intersection, repair a slope north of Armitage Avenue, upgrade guardrail and install mumble/rumble strips. When complete, the project will extend the life of the road and improve the ride along eight miles of Highway 25, and improve safety and drainage in the area.