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Six special events on tap in Alexandria this spring, summer

They include a walk, a run, a parade, new concert series, Earth Day event and motorcycle show.

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At the 2021 Vikingland Band Festival, members of the Alexandria Marching band performed for judges and spectators. This year's event is set for Sunday, June 26.
Alexandria Echo Press file photo

ALEXANDRIA — Ready to do some running, walking or marching? How about taking in summer concerts at a brewery, showing support for the Earth or going to a motorcycle show?

At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council issued these special event permits:

  • Copper Trail Brewing Company will hold a “Cool Summer Concert Series” on May 26, June 30 and July 28 from 4 to 10 p.m. It’s a collaboration between the brewery and Hubbard Radio’s COOL-FM. Because alcohol will be served, it’s only for those 21 and older. The first two events will be held in Copper Trail's parking lot. The third concert will take place in the street in front of the brewery. A special event permit was required for the third concert because it would close a portion of Broadway from Second Avenue to Third Avenue from noon to midnight for set-up and clean-up time. Copper Trail also received a temporary off-premise community festival liquor license for the July 28 concert.
  • Alexandria Area Indivisible will hold a “Love the Earth” event on Saturday, April 23 (the day after Earth Day) at Big Ole Central Park. Activities, speakers, music and more are planned to celebrate and support the Earth.
  • American Bikers for Awareness, Training and Education, or ABATE, will hold its 14th annual motorcycle show at the Runestone Community Center on May 21-22. The event raises money for motorcycle awareness and rider training. ABATE also received a temporary liquor license  for the event.
  • The Lasting Imprint Congenital Heart Defect Walk will take place Aug. 27 from 8 a.m. to noon, starting and ending at City Park. Participants will walk on the trail to Big Ole Central Park and back. About 300 participants are expected.
  • The Alexandria YMCA will hold its annual Bunny Run 5K from 8 to 10 a.m. on April 16, starting and ending at the YMCA, using Karl Drive NW, the Central Lakes Trail, County Road 22 NW and Benjamin Drive. About 100 are expected to participate.
  • The Vikingland Band Festival Parade will be held June 26, starting at 1:30 p.m.on Broadway from Third Avenue to 17th Avenue. Eighteen marching bands will perform this year. Portions of Irving Street and Jefferson Street, from Third Avenue to Fifth Avenue, will be closed for the parade line-up.

Following are other items from the April 11 meeting not covered in other council stories.

Speedway season approved, plus a concert

Viking Speedway is revving up for another season.

The council approved 17 racing dates, running from the season opener on May 7 through a Labor Day Doubleheader on Sept. 3-4.

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A new location for the pit was agreed upon with Viking Speedway representatives in 2016. City officials said the arrangement has worked well and staff recommended to continue with it in 2021.

As in the past, no racing will be allowed after 9 p.m. on the evening before a day that the Alexandria School District 206 is in session. Races must end by 10:45 p.m. on all other days.

The speedway was also allowed to sell beer and wine on the track for a country music concert it's holding in conjunction with KIKV-FM on June 25. Seating will be available on the track, in the grandstand and in a VIP area. About 4,500 people are expected to attend. Only about 20% of the general admission tickets are still available, according to the speedway.

A bar area will be set up on each end of the grandstand on the track, along with a grandstand beer garden.

The event will take place from 4 to 10:30 p.m., with beer and wine sales ending at 9:55 p.m. Ten security personnel will be on the scene from 3 p.m. until it concludes.

Donation to help police, firefighters

The council accepted an $8,000 donation from student athletes at Northstar Academy that will support the Alexandria police and fire departments.

Half of the money will be used to purchase thermal-imaging cameras for firefighters and the other half will add equipment for the police department’s new physical fitness initiative.

Every year in January the academy’s hockey program hosts a tournament for both their under-18 and under-16 teams. In an effort to connect with the community the students select different entities to raise awareness and money through an auction, according to Fire Chief Jeff Karrow and Fire Chief Scott Kent, who explained how the donation came to be.

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This year, the students selected the police and fire departments. The teams purchased jerseys that had logos on the front that looked like the fire department’s patch and the police department’s logo. They then auctioned the jerseys off along with numerous other items.

The hockey players and coaches presented their $8,000 donation to the council Monday night.

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Alexandria Police Chief Scott Kent, middle, and Alexandria Fire Chief Jeff Karrow, next to Kent, pose for a photo with Northstar Christian Academy hockey players and board members at Monday's Alexandria City Council meeting. They showed the jerseys that were auctioned off to raise funds for the departments.
Al Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

Park equipment and improvements

New equipment may soon be operating in city parks.

The council authorized Park Director Bill Thoennes to get quotes for a zero-turn mower and bagging system for spring and fall park clean-ups; and to spend up to $15,000 for a used infield groomer for Knute Nelson Ballpark and Dean Melton Fillmore Park.

Also, the council accepted a low quote of $10,000 from Advanced Irrigation to install an irrigation system at Dean Melton Fillmore Park to be used in the outfield portions. It’s the only ballfield in the city without an irrigation system, Thoennes said.

The money for the groomer and irrigation system will come from liquor store proceeds, if approved by the liquor commission.

Mobile food truck licensed

The council issued a mobile food truck license to Emily Louwagie of Alexandria, owner of Peppa and Poppy’s Kitchen.

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The truck features Alexandria grown produce.

Annexation request approved

The council gave final approval to Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge’s request to annex a one-acre parcel of its land in LaGrand Township into the city.

As part of the process, the council notified LaGrand Township and Douglas County about the request, and there were no objections.

The property is located on Shady Lane near Lake Winona.

Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Centers offer a broad range of services. It provides Christian faith-based, residential care to young people and adults who struggle with life-controlling problems.

The Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Center plans to build on a 14-acre site at 525 Willow Drive on the northwest shoreline of Lake Winona. It was the home of Dr. William Heegaard and his wife, Josie.

The project consists of five parcels which will be combined, including the parcel in LaGrand Township.The center will include 19 units as well as a chapel, dining hall, kitchen, a half-gym, classrooms, fitness facilities, staff offices, parking, and other accessory uses. About 30 staff members will work at the center.

New definitions for employees

The council approved a resolution to amend the definition for full-time employees and benefit-earning employees.

Since at least 2000, the city has defined full-time employees as those who work an average of 30 or more hours weekly. This created two classes of employees – full-time and part-time. Employees who worked 30 or more hours were considered full time for purposes of earning benefits. This definition is being eliminated.

Full-time employees will now be defined as those who are required to work 30 or more hours year-round in an ongoing position.

Benefit-earning employees are those who are eligible for city provided benefits and must be year-round employees who work at least 30 hours per week on a regular basis. In accordance with federal health care reforms and regulations, the city will offer health insurance benefits to eligible employees and their dependents that work on average, or are expected to work 30 or more hours per week or the equivalent of 130 hours or more per month over a 12-month period.

Encroachment request approved

The council approved an encroachment permit for the Carpet One property at 3809 Highway 29 South.

The property is being sold to Cullen Property Management, LLC. The encroachment area is the driveway on the northeast and east sides of the building. A recent survey showed that the driveway encroaches onto city property.

City Planner Mike Weber said the city has encountered several situations over the years when encroachment permits are issued for areas running from fractions of an inch to 10 or more feet.

This request doesn’t include any buildings.

The permit was granted with six conditions – the permit area must be hard-surfaced by Cullen, providing that the surfacing doesn’t extend beyond the permit area to other portions of city property; the entire permit will become null and void if the driveway use is abandoned or not maintained for a period of five years; the encroachment area may not be enlarged or added on to without prior written permission; if any portion of the encroachment is removed, destroyed or damaged, the permit will terminate; the city has no responsibility to maintain, repair or replace the driveway; and the permit will run with the purchaser's property.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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