5/10/2013 10:30:00 AM Parks business tops
County Bd. agenda
by DENISE MARTIN
The County Board, minus Commissioner George McMahon, last week released about $55,000 to Fish Lake Township, out of a county-held parks fees account. The funding is earmarked by the township board for construction of a play area and picnic shelter on the Fish Lake Township Hall property, at Cedercrest Trail and Brunswick Rd.
Townships that have adopted plans for parks development can request funds from park fees paid by developers when platting in the townships. The funds are administered by the county and the county retains 25 percent. Fish Lake had a balance of about $58,000 total at its disposal. The improvements include a shelter addition to town hall, playground equipment, grill and picnic tables and there will be a seasonal portable toilet as part of the expenses. The last time Fish Lake Township tapped into its park fees balance was 2006 for a play structure, at the Fish Lake Beach. Also related to recreation was a motion, also approved 4-0, to increase fees Chisago County collects to reserve county park facilities.
The last revision to these fees was 10 years ago, the Board was told. Fees were approved to be $60 for a weekend and $75 for non-residents who want to reserve a site on a weekend. Weekday fee is $35 for both county residents and non-residents. There is a new “morning only” half day reservation category for $35. Groups of 100 or larger pay double all the fees. If you’d like to set up your own large shade tent or portable shelter-- the use of the park is free for tent structures smaller than 200 square feet.
Larger tents are allowed for $55. The Board approved a draft of the county water management plan that provides a guideline for future projects having to do with protecting, improving or conserving water resources. Jerry Spetzman, water plan coordinator, said the plan becomes the tool that’s used to leverage outside grants and funding. The county relies on grants a lot-- he said 50 percent of the work done related to water plan guidelines in the past have been grant-funded. The final plan should be enacted in September after the state reviews this draft document. The staff will be getting quotes and costs for capital projects for a small government center parking lot close to the Pioneer Lake shoreline.
This smaller lot has lighting needs and surface repairs/ stormwater projects are also planned. Earlier improvements done at the Government Center included below grade hard scaping for stormwater controls that have left safety issues for staff attempting to make a rain garden-pit safer for pedestrians. The vote on approving a quote for 85 feet of powder-coated safety railing was 3-1 with Commissioner Mike Robinson opposed. He felt that at about $100 per foot, there must be cheaper alternatives. The fence will be supplied by SCMA in Cambridge.
At the outset of the Board’s regular meeting Congressman Rick Nolan’s local field office staff member, Rick Olseen, gave a brief presentation on behalf of the congressman. Olseen has a congressional field office in the Government Center, open twice a week, that is leased by Rep. Nolan.