What's in a name?

by Maggie Stanwood

Contributing Writer

The Elk River City Council will host interviews for three naming rights consulting services after an initial discussion about the proposals at a council meeting on Jan. 20.

The city posted a request for proposals for naming rights consulting services in November and received three proposals by the beginning of January from Front Burner Sports and Entertainment, Staley Consulting and The Superlative Group.

The service would be to acquire a naming rights agreement for the multipurpose recreational facility included in the Active Elk River Plan, paid for with a $35 million Local Option Sales Tax referendum. The facility will have year-round ice, dry floor events, a meeting and event space, a 30,000-square-foot turf field house, catering café space and dedicated senior center facilities, according to council documents.

Naming rights are a way to advertise – a company or organization would buy the right to name something for a period of time (for instance, U.S. Bank Stadium).

The naming rights project would have two phases. The first phase would include reviewing the facility and Lions John Weicht Park, recommending a naming rights program structure and developing a naming rights proposal to identify and solicit potential clients. The first phase is expected to last until August 2020.

Phase two would include implementing a marketing plan, contacting potential clients, assisting in negotiating agreements and any necessary documents, and continuing to review community input. The second phase is expected to last until the end of 2021.

Staff recommended approving the proposal from The Superlative Group as it was the most “detailed and thorough,” according to council documents, but multiple council members expressed that they would like to hear from consultant representatives for more details about their proposals. City of Elk River staff said they would reach out to the consulting groups and see what time might work best.

No funding sources have been identified yet for the consultation services, but the Building Reserve Fund is a potential source, according to council documents.

In other action at the Jan. 21 meeting, the council:

•Opened and continued a public hearing to Feb. 18 for a zone change in the 730 block of Vernon Avenue. The requested change would be to zone the property as multi-family. The applicant requested additional time to explore alternative options to allow the property to operate as a multiple family use, according to council documents.

•Continued a public hearing to Feb. 3 for an easement vacation, simple plat and conditional use permit for phase two of the Copart’s Salvage yard development. The applicant submitted an updated traffic impact study on Jan. 15 and staff requested additional time to review the study and confer with MnDOT.

•Approved municipal consent of the layout for the Trunk Highway 10 reconstruction from Xenia Avenue to 4th Street and trail construction from Simonet Drive to Lowell Avenue. The project will also include replacement of traffic signals at Proctor and Upland Avenues and access alternations at Oxford and Norfolk Avenues, according to council documents. Bids are planned to open in December 2020 with construction expected to be complete in 2021. Total costs are estimated to be $9.25 million, with about $340,000 coming from the city for local costs associated with trail and signal system improvements. The project will be complete before the Highway 169 construction project starts.

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