by ADAM GRUENEWALD
Organizers busy preparing for Glad Days in Cologne are hoping to help it continue to grow.
On Monday, March 18, Betsy Pysick updated the Cologne City Council on their progress for the annual event, which will be held July 24 to 26. Pysick said organizers plan to bring back familiar events such as the Garden Party wine tasting, 5K and kids run, softball, kickball, bounce houses, petting zoo as well as new attractions such as the Timberworks Lumber Jack Show and the Glad You’re My Neighbor contest.
“All of the normal things are coming back,” said Pysick, adding there are also some changes. Organizers are looking at moving the dance from Lions Park to City Square Park on Saturday to move that event closer to the food vendors.
As part of the change, Pysick said they are looking at increasing the size of the tent from 30-by-50 feet for $675 to 40-by-60 feet for $1,080.
“We’re kind of outgrowing our tent up there,” said Pysick, who noted the emphasis placed on the tent for both Friday and Saturday nights worked well last year to draw vendors, entertainment and larger crowds.
The toilet bowl races will not occur this year due to lack of interest, but Pysick said organizers are looking at a Human Raider Run and bike safety with the Carver County Sheriff’s Department, dodgeball and a women’s softball tournament at Fritz Field.
Recognizing the consistent assistance provided by the city, Pysick said the main focus is on the tent upgrade.
“We’ve been really well supported but we’re wondering about the next step with the tent,” she said, eager for this year’s Glad Days. “It’s growing and that’s a fantastic thing.”
In other matters, council members approved two zoning ordinance changes related to United Farmers Cooperative’s $4.5 million expansion project for the Cologne Mill.
City Planner Dean Johnson explained the first step incorporates all of the project within the district, while the other changes the permitted height in the zone from 40 feet to 75 feet for ag service businesses.
Scheduled to begin in 2014 and be completed in 2015, plans call for a new scale on Mill Avenue and increases jobs in Cologne to 20 employees. Within that are bins for enclosure under elevators at 68 feet.
Johnson added UFC is looking at starting the project in 2014 subject to site plan review by the planning commission.
“It’s kind of activity in motion here but they’re looking at the demolition of several buildings on the property, other than the antique building at this time,” said Johnson of this year’s timeline. “They would be gearing up for all of the other little improvements themselves including replacing some of the bins and the bin handling system in 2015.”
Johnson emphasized plans have shifted somewhat from original plans calling for construction in February.
“Things are not quite as quite as dramatic or as quick as we heard back in January,” he said. “I’d say we’re working extremely well together and coming together and when we have more, we’ll bring it to you.”
Council members also heard an update from Carver County Commissioner Jim Ische on various road projects, approved fee changes for use of the Cologne Community Center and equipment and approved an increase in pay for security personnel.
The Cologne City Council will next meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 7.
Contact Adam Gruenewald at [email protected]