November 2012 Meeting

We approved two new master plans in Dakota County, for trails that connect with each other in the Rosemount area. The first is the Rosemount Greenway, and the second is the Vermillion Highlands Greenway. These two trails are intended to transition in character along their length, ranging from the historic downtown area of Rosemount to agricultural land and connections to Lebanon Hills RP, Spring Lake RP Reserve, and Whitetail Woods RP.

Back in our next of the woods, there were a few grant scope adjustments in Anoka County. These were needed because bids for the repair of the wave pool filtration system at Bunker Hills RP came in much higher than anticipated. Usually park agency staff are pretty good at estimating bids, and it's more common for us to adjust grant scopes because bids came in lower, but since there is only one wave pool in the entire regional system that's not something we have nearly as much experience planning for. As such, funds that had been allocated for road, trail, parking lot, and fishing access construction at Coon Rapids Dam RP and redevelopment of the day camp at Rice Creek Chain of Lakes RP were moved to the wave pool project. However, when I asked about the impact on Coon Rapids Dam RP, county staff informed me that they have another grant from a different funding source that is also being used on those projects, and they are anticipating that they will likely be able to complete or very nearly complete that work with the other grant alone. The day camp project at Rice Creek Chain of Lakes will be postponed. Other items in the grant (redevelopment of the beach wall at Lake George, campground and utility redevelopment at Rice Creek Chain of Lakes [separate from the day camp], Manomin Park trailhead improvement for the Rice Creek West RT, Mississippi River RT extension, and septic system improvements at the Chomonix golf course clubhouse / XC ski warming building) are unaffected.

Following up on the reimbursement question from October, staff presented a report concluding that current Minnesota statute does not allow park vehicle passes to be considered as a reimbursable expense for commissioners except day passes for actual official meetings on park grounds. I am disappointed by that finding, as I think regional park commissioners should be expected to actually experience the parks they are responsible for and have knowledge about them outside of only being there for meetings, and presenting every commissioner with a vehicle pass for each year of their term would be a sensible way of encouraging that. (I already bought myself one earlier this year without reimbursement, but I think it would send a good message to have it be part of a new commissioners initial materials to convey visiting our park and trail units as an expectation of the position.) Apparently for that to happen would require an act of the legislature though, so we'll have to see whether that's possible.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.