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Winsted to approve formal park dedication and donation policy
Feb. 9, 2018

By Ivan Raconteur

WINSTED – During the Winsted City Council work session Feb. 6, City Administrator Dan Tienter presented the background on a proposed policy under which the city will accept park dedications and donations.

He noted that during the development of the city’s park system master plan in 2016, the planning commission asked for additional information regarding possible policies and procedures for dedication or naming conventions for city parks.

In May 2016, after reviewing policies from other cities, staff presented the commission with four examples from other cities and gathered input from commission members.

Staff delayed further consideration of a policy until after the city council adopted the master plan in May 2017.

City staff then drafted a recommended policy and presented it to the park commission in August 2017.

The park commission recommended approval of the policy.

The purpose of the proposed policy is to serve the best interests of the city in branding, dedicating, labeling, and naming the amenities of the park system.

The policy classifies amenities as either minor or major assets.

Only major assets are eligible for dedication or naming. Categories include historic events and places, and historic or outstanding individuals.

Typically, the city will only consider the dedication or naming of a major asset under one or more of the following circumstances:

• The individual or group demonstrated significant contributions to the Winsted community, State of Minnesota, or the US.

• The individual or group volunteered and gave extraordinary assistance to individuals, families, or groups, or support to the greater community.

• The individual or group risked their lives to save or protect others from harm.

• The individual or group demonstrated commitment to equity, inclusion, and/or justice.

In order to protect the city from significant unplanned expenses, the policy also sets forth guidelines for accepting major gifts.

For example, for any project under $100,000, the donor must contribute at least 75 percent of the cost (thus capping the city’s cost at $25,000).

In addition, the donor will be required to contribute at least a 15-year endowment for the continued maintenance, operation, and programming associated with the asset as determined by the park commission. This will protect the city from incurring un-budgeted maintenance costs.

The policy also specifies guidelines for accepting trees, benches, bike racks, or picnic tables.

More details and definitions are included in the proposed policy, which is expected to be approved by the council as part of the consent agenda during its Tuesday, Feb. 20 regular meeting.

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