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Mission statement finally completed

Cornell City Council

To enhance the quality of life in Cornell, with family-fun parks, recreation and exceptional historical sites, that create opportunities for growth and enrichment of our youth, citizens and visitors.

That mission statement created at the Halls, Parks and Recreation Committee meeting Jan. 21, was approved by the Cornell City Council at a regular meeting Feb. 6.

“Have we had a mission statement for this?” asked council member Steve Turany.

Council member Ashley Carothers says one could not be found, while city administrator Dave DeJongh says he’s never run across one or seen the need for one until recently. A statement was written to catch attention of visitors to the city’s recreation areas and also open up more opportunities for grants.

“We needed to write a mission statement…we need to move into the century and catch up, and be more professional,” said Carothers.

Members also approved rental agreements for the Mill Yard Park pavilion and City Park (Brunet Falls) pavilion.

“This was done, because we had questions last year,” said Carothers, “of the rental agreements – who pays, who doesn’t pay…so we wanted to make it more black and white…and I feel we as a committee did a pretty decent job, with Dave’s help, of course.”

Although the city pavilion has never been rented in the past, with electricity going in there and parents wanting to use the pavilion for kids’ birthday parties, the need was seen. With the rental, parties can be reserved, which also generates revenues for the city.

Those who rent the pavilions are required to sweep/hose down the floor and clean up trash. Also, no alcohol is allowed at the City Park.

The City Park is $20/day rent, plus tax, and a $40 security deposit, while the Mill Yard is $40/day, plus tax, and $40 security deposit. Rent may be waived, if an organization can provide tax exempt status.

For quick lunches at the parks, no rental is needed, if the pavilions are unoccupied.

“That stays the same, as like with Mill Yard,” said Carothers of the City Park rental. “First come, first serve, unless it’s rented.”

The council also decided on the purchase of a fence topper for the new ball field fence. A matching grant that was received from the Twins Foundation for $7,500, allowed work to be done on the Mill Yard field.

Current work has cost around $14,000 and to meet the $15,000 for the grant, members agreed to buy a yellow topper from H S Fence Company for $978. The city and possibly volunteers from the community, will install the topper once weather is nicer.


The topper will prevent players from cutting their arm when they when reach over the chain link fence for a foul ball. DeJongh says he thinks yellow is the way to go with the topper, as it may “grab the eye” so players don’t run into the fence.

“I thought that might be a nice addition if you decided to go with it,” said DeJongh.

“I think it’s worth it,” said mayor Judy Talbot.

Members also agreed to raise the court clerk’s wage 9 cents an hour to match the police secretary’s wage, as the same person is now doing it and it would avoid confusion, instead of using multiple time sheets. The court clerk usually records two or three hours a month.

“I think it makes sense,” said DeJongh.

In request at a previous meeting for 15-minute parking in front of Kids First Childcare on Main Street, it was agreed that the matter needs to go to the Public Health and Safety Committee. A parent said a sign is needed, as people are having difficulty picking kids up and dropping them off.

Talbot says she would like to see how many signs the daycare may need, before the committee makes a decision.

“I don’t feel if you just put one there, it’s going to be enough for the times they’re dropping off and picking up,” said Talbot.

As an election notice, mayoral candidate Tyrel Sikora is withdrawing his candidacy, as he had an opportunity arise and needs to hold off running for city office. However, because he is officially a candidate, his name will appear on the ballot alongside candidate Mark Larson.

“If he (Sikora) should win, then he will have to formally withdraw and not accept the position,” said Talbot. “If that happens, then the city council…will then decide who the mayor will be. It’s going to be a vacant position.”

If Larson wins, there will be no appointment needed, as he would be elected. If he “loses” to Sikora, the council could still appoint Larson to the position, if the council feels Larson is the best choice.