DELANO, MN – Four years after establishing utilities in the West Metro Business Park, which has no tenants, the city is purchasing the property for $0 from Delano Industrial Partners, the entity that had been tasked with marketing the property.
“The development group that started the process in 2013 of marketing it has not been successful and had proposed revised terms, which included the city taking over ownership,” City Administrator Phil Kern said.
Kern shared what the development would mean for the city.
“We’d have the ability to sell, negotiate, and make deals with business park tenants,” Kern said. “It provides the ability of the existing property owners to acquire a portion of land sales down the road. This resolution before you tonight, we need to authorize in order to officiall close on this transaction, which should take place late this week or early next week.”
Kern added that a number of interested parties had contacted the city regarding the business park. He told the council he would provide an update on those interested parties shortly.
The council, which had previously discussed the purchase in a closed session, had no further discussion on the matter.
Spirit of Community Commission
Delano Senior Center and Community Services Coordinator Nick Neaton presented about the creation of the Spirit of Community Commission, which the council then approved.
The purpose of the commission will be to promote an atmosphere of mutual understanding and cooperation among all members of the Delano community by building the spirit of community and improving public engagement within the Delano community.
Neaton will serve as the city’s liaison to the commission, along with a school district representative, a Delano Area Chamber of Commerce representative, a representative from the local faith community, and five at-large members.
Why create a commission?
Neaton said it would aim to engage a committed group of citizens in ensuring Delano is a welcoming community; involve citizens in city policies, operations, and practices that are consistent with city values; and demonstrate the city’s commitment to strengthening bonds between citizens, its institutions, and its civic and community groups.
It will focus on four areas of work: welcoming environment – fairness and equality, encourage involvement in community groups and organizations, ensure institutional integrity, and engaging and educating the community.
Duties and responsibilities will include:
• Advising and making recommendations to the city council on community issues related to health, safety, community involvement and the fair and equal treatment of all persons.
• Studying the nature and causes of barriers in the city’s ordinances and community policies, and making recommendations for improvements.
• Fostering through education and public information general awareness and understanding of community relations and city operations.
• Enlisting the cooperation of other government agencies, groups, organizations, and individuals in the community attentive to the spirit of community.
• Assisting in the development of public information and programs aimed at enhancing the quality of life in Delano.
• Engaging residents and businesses through developing or supporting programs, events, and projects that support the commission’s purpose.
• Promoting strong neighborhoods and community connections.
The city’s goal is to advertise for commission members in November and launch the commission, which will meet monthly, in December.
Spirit of Community Commission members will receive the same stipend as other city commission members.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved a policy guiding the city and Delano Fire Relief Association through the process of managing sustainable fire relief pension levels. Future pension increases will be paid when the fund reaches a funding level of 115 percent or greater. If the pension fund falls below 115 percent funding, the city contributions will provide a 1 percent pension increase no more than once every other year until the fund can be restored above 115 percent.
• approved an $18,400 reduction of the letter of credit for Willowbrook, Wright Neighborhoods 4th Addition, leaving a balance of $63,442 to cover 115 percent of remaining public improvements for the development.
• approved the purchase of two corner workstations, a conference table, eight stools, and a bookcase for the renovation of city hall’s upstairs conference room, at a cost of $6,232. Of that amount, $5,390 was remaining from a $10,000 budget for alternative office equipment in 2015, with the remainder coming from the general fund operations budget.