Veterans and monarchs get Scandia council attention

Hannah Davis
Scandia Reporter

On Aug. 15, after lengthy discussion the Scandia City Council approved a landscaping and design plan for the veterans memorial at Lilleskogen Park.

The Parks and Recreation Committee recommended council approval for a landscaping design that would incorporate 10 common milkweed plants so the park could be designated an official monarch butterfly way station. Monarch butterflies seek out milkweed plants as a place to lay their eggs – ultimately, the caterpillars feed on the plants. It was recommended that the milkweed not be introduced near the veterans memorial as the height of the plants was a concern.

“The goal of the Veterans Committee was to have a nice sight line that doesn’t obstruct view into the memorial,” Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Ryan Jinks said.

The concern for the butterfly feature at the park is that it might encroach on the memorial.

“It should be mostly about creating a memorial and not there to foster butterflies,” Councilman Bob Hegland said of the park plan.

Jinks said he disagreed, since the community and the council had previously agreed to improve the area as a butterfly garden.

“The compromise negotiated with the veterans memorial was that they’d use some of that space but that it would still incorporate exiting plans,” Jinks said. “The veteran’s memorial is a welcome addition, and this a nice compromise in the landscaping.”

The compromise to include the veterans memorial at Lilleskogen Park was reached in July of 2015.

“This whole site has been under discussion for a very long time,” Mayor Christine Maefsky said. “I think we should accept the proposal as is. We will be showing respect for both groups that have invested so much time in this.”

The proposal unanimously passed.

Lighting ordinance

The council unanimously voted to amend the lighting ordinance. The amendment now allows LED lights in all zoning districts. The proposed changes to the ordinance were brought about because the new plans for the Scandia Elementary School included LED lighting.

Councilman Jim Schneider also brought up concerns in the ordinance about outdoor lighting for businesses. The current ordinance requires businesses to have all lights turned off one hour after closing, except for security lights. Schneider suggested a change to the ordinance that would allow businesses to leave their lights on without having to designate them as being for security.

Because this part of the ordinance wasn’t a part of the proposed agenda for the meeting, further concerns about the current ordinance were left for future meetings.

Currently, any business that has a light on past one hour after closing can bring the light to the council for consideration as security lighting.

Good neighbor

The council recognized the Scandia-Marine Lions for its first Good Neighbor Award. The Scandia-Marine Lions Club is the largest such club in Minnesota, with 157 members, and has donated more than $78,000 to people in need, including educational scholarships and donations to better their community. The Scandia-Marine Lions have spent more than 2,000 hours in support of their communities this year.