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City Council Regular
Meeting Date: 09/03/2019  
Subject:    Open Mic Response - Mr. Brian Vail
From: Tim Himmer, Public Works Director

Mr. Brian Vail of 13116 Crooked Lake Blvd NW appeared at the Open Mic portion of the August 20, 2019 City Council meeting. Mr. Vail addressed Council to express his concerns related to the fishing pier at Crooked Lake Park; specifically the proximity to his property and associated concerns that accompany the use of the pier.  He further questioned a pile of concrete debris near a recently completed dumpster pad located approximately 15' from his property line.
Staff was previously contacted by Mr. Vail on a few occasions during the park redevelopment project to express his concerns related to bad language, public intoxication, excessive trash, and jumping/swimming from the pier.  Conversations escalated in the fall of 2018 when the installation of a second pier was being considered.  Council may recall that the original plans for the Crooked Lake Park redevelopment included the removal of the existing pier and installation of a new one approximately 75' north of the previously existing location.  Due to high usage and demand for such a facility, staff received several inquiries for inclusion of a second pier instead of the replacement.  Staff spoke with the City Council at that time and contacted the DNR to determine if it would be feasible.  The DNR determined the fishing pier improvement on Crooked Lake was a high priority under their public water access program.  With limited public fishing access available in the area, both parties recognized the opportunity and developed a partnership to refurbish and reinstall the existing pier.

The City Council considered and approved a Cooperative Agreement with the DNR (attached) on September 18, 2018, which outlines the responsibilities and requirements for inclusion of a second fishing pier at Crooked Lake.  The attached Exhibit A details the approximate locations of both piers. During project revisions to incorporate the second pier staff initiated new improvements to provide access, update the existing pier landing, and ensure the final layout met the stipulations of the agreement (ADA requirements and adequate parking facilities).

Staff has reviewed the situation in the field, taken measurements, and contacted the DNR to discuss potential solutions to Mr. Vail's concerns.  The distance from the north end of north pier to the swimming area is approximately 100', from the south end of the north pier to the north end of the south pier is approximately 175', and from the south end of the south pier to the the Vail dock is approximately 105'.  Options for consideration include:
  • Don't complete installation of the second pier.  The pier rehab is currently taking place at the Public Works facility, and it is anticipated to be complete and ready for reinstallation in a couple of weeks.  Doing this would require an amendment to the DNR agreement to move the pier to another water body in the City of Coon Rapids or a cancellation of the agreement, which would return the pier to the DNR and they would seek other potential locations outside of Coon Rapids (hopefully nearby within Anoka County).  There would also be additional restoration required within the park area, and the park would be not have an ADA accessible pier.
  • Reconfigure and/or reposition the pier to create additional separation from the property line.  The current pier cannot be reconfigured to an L-shape (as was discussed) due to its design and engineering.  There are possible options for other configurations but that would require additional time, materials, costs, and (likely) permitting.  It was also discovered that differing configurations that extend the length of pier sections leads to additional damage and maintenance during spring ice-out.  Altering the location and/or configuration also leads to lesser separation between the two piers.
  • Swap the locations of the pier and swimming area.  This solution would meet the ADA accessibility requirements for each facility, but have considerable cost implications.
  • Do nothing, install the pier as was decided in September of 2018 when the cooperative agreement was being reviewed.
The construction debris has been removed; it remained following the installation of an accessible trash pad.  Due to high usage of the park and shelters, two trash collection locations were developed on either end of the park.  They are located along trails for convenience of trash collection access and the trash is removed two to three times per week.
Staff's recommendation is to reinstall the second pier as originally planned.  The frontage of the lake and separation of elements was reviewed and factored into the the placement decisions at the time of consideration for the second pier cooperative agreement.  With native plant material reseeding and installation of the second pier due to occur in the next few weeks, any deviations from this recommendation should be made known to staff immediately so adjustments can be made in accordance with that direction.

Cooperative Agreement
Exhibit A

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