Agenda includes partnership with hotels, School Resource Officer, child care growth, river corridor grants, and more

    Lazy days of summer? Forget it. The Crookston City Council and its Ways & Means Committee has a lot of irons on the fire right now, so there’s no time to sit back and take a breath.

    The council meets at 7 p.m. Monday in the city hall council chambers. The main item of note on their agenda is a reboot of a discussion that began a month ago at the Ways & Means Committee, involving a partnership between the City and local lodging facilities that co-brand their advertising and publicity efforts with the “Belong in Crookston” marketing initiative. If all hotels and motels fully participate, they’d be eligible for a total of $18,500 in the first year, in the form of a reimbursement from the City for some of their costs for advertising that utilizes Belong in Crookston.

    The proposal, after being endorsed by the committee, seemed on track for council approval in late May, but concerns first voiced at At Large Council Member Bob Quanrud – who’d missed the initial discussion – led to other council members reiterating some of their reservations, so the matter was tabled until tonight.

Ways & Means Committee

    The Ways & Means Committee, which meets after the council meeting in the city hall conference room, has a full agenda.

    • They’re going to discuss Tri-Valley’s possible move to the Fournet Building across the street, but, according to a meeting memo from City Administrator Shannon Stassen, Monday’s discussion is mostly for the purposes of clarifying that the City has led the discussion about safety and parking at the Broadway and Robert Street intersection, and that the Tri-Valley Board of Directors has simply been receptive to a plan that may improve the community as a whole.

    • The committee will discuss a $25,000 grant application being put forth by the Red Lake River Corridor Joint Powers Board to the Northwest Minnesota Foundation for a project totaling $50,000. Crookston is a member of the board, and would be asked to assist with in-kind and cash matches, with the latter totaling $1,500.

    The grant request from the NMF is a precursor to a larger grant application the corridor group is putting the finishing touches on from the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission. If it’s pursued, the focus in Crookston would be on improving the Central Park campground. Stassen wants to meet later this month to determine the City’s level of commitment in the grant application to potentially improve the campground.

    • A specific incident involving a student being threatened at Highland School earlier this spring spurred school district administrators to mention that it would be nice if the district had a School Resource Officer again, as it did years ago before grant dollars funding the position slowly dried up. Stassen in his meeting memo indicates that he’s been discussing an SRO with Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier, and they want to update the committee.

    • State grant dollars funneling through Tri-Valley Opportunity Council to increase the number of licensed child care slots in Crookston are starting to trigger a response. The City contributed some funding to Tri-Valley’s grant application.

    Stassen indicates in his memo that four individuals are interested in providing “family care” level, and one is currently in the licensing process. Three individuals are interested in a center-based child care operation and are exploring options. Another individual, Stassen reports, is deciding between the two options.

    The committee will discuss where things currently stand, including an update on previous talks to potentially partner with the private sector on constructing a new child care center. A 7,100 square foot center would cost more than $1 million, Stassen indicates in his memo.

    No action will be taken on this matter Monday.