HUDSON, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities are preparing to impose speed limits on boats cruising the St. Croix River, where a collision last year killed five boaters.
But members of the Lower St. Croix River Management Commission wouldn't say precisely those limits will be until their annual meeting Wednesday at the St. Croix County Government Center.
There is currently no speed limit on the St. Croix, except in no-wake zones, which include areas close to shore.
Speed limit discussions heated up last year after a fatal Fourth of July weekend collision. Five men were killed when two boats crashed near Oak Park Heights, Minn. High speeds and alcohol contributed to the accident, officials determined.
Commission members -- officials from the two states' Departments of Natural Resources and the National Park Service -- have agreed speed limits will be established on the St. Croix by the 2002 boating season, said Steve Johnson of the Minnesota DNR. The commission was created by federal and state laws and manages the lower 52 miles of the St. Croix River.
The Minnesota-Wisconsin Boundary Area Commission, which coordinates natural resource policy for border areas of the two states, has recommended speed limits of 20 mph at night and 40 mph during the day for the 25-mile section of the river between Stillwater, Minn., and Prescott, Wis., said Buck Malick, executive director.
But Jon Norgren, president of the Midwest Marina Association and manager of the St. Croix Marina in Hudson, said marina operators prefer a 50-mph speed limit.
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