It's the first time since 1997.
In his 20-plus years as public works director for the City of Crookston, Pat Kelly said Spring Clean-Up Week has only been delayed once, and that was during the epic flood fight of 1997.
Well, it's going to be delayed a second time, as Kelly told the city council's Ways & Means Committee that the remaining snow pack and the fact that it "just doesn't seem to be spring yet" add up to his decision to push the twice-yearly event back to the week of May 13. The potential for his crews being busy as they deal with high water is another factor in the decision, as is the fact that many residents like to rake their yards and have the raked materials picked up by city crews that week. If clean-up week remained as scheduled during the last week of May, Kelly said it's pretty much a certainty that no raking would take place ahead of time, and residents might even have to pile their items for pick-up on top of dirty, crusty snowbanks.
Speaking of high water, Fire Chief/Emergency Manager Tim Froeber told the committee that the continued snowy weather will more than likely lead to ramped-up flood forecasts from the National Weather Service. "The above-normal precipitation and the below-normal temperatures just keep pushing things off," he said. "That increases the chances of a rapid melt later."
He's anticipating that some sandbags will be needed on a 2 1/2 block stretch of South Ash Street and a 1 1/2 block stretch of Riverside, in addition some sandbagging by the public library. If he "gets a lot of help," Froeber figures the bagging could be accomplished in a single day. He anticipated utilizing the services of incarcerated individuals through the Sentence to Service program as well, he added.
• Matt Johnson has passed his building official exams and is awaiting the arrival of his license, City Administrator Tony Chladek said. The development means that the city will take the next steps to transfer more duties to Johnson and away from Community Development Director Mike MacDonald, who is transitioning into retirement.
• Kelly told the committee that he's gotten an estimate for the paving work necessary for the parking lot and road accesses at the corner formerly home to the Wayne/Palace Hotel. It's in the $35,000 range, he said. The city needs to acquire a strip of property at the site in order to make the project happen.