CROSSLAKE -- A children's playground will be installed sometime in mid-October at Crosslake Community Park.
The Crosslake City Council at a special meeting Wednesday authorized the purchase and installation of park playground equipment for $57,869. Jon Henke, director of parks and recreation, told the council that the 2005 costs for the playground project would be $49,980 for equipment and installation, $6,480 for the engineered wood fiber ground cover and installation and $1,400 for the Geotextile fabric for the playground installed by Gametime, a playground company that has installed playgrounds in Ideal Township, Breezy Point, Brainerd and Baxter. The city would then complete phase three of the project, landscaping and other playground amenities, next spring, said Henke.
The city has received a $15,000 donation from the Lions Presidential Project and a $3,000 Crow Wing Power Community Trust grant to be used for the new playground with the city making up the $34,860 difference out of park dedication funds. The park dedication fund balance is about $140,000, said Henke.
Henke said there will be no increase in insurance liability with the new equipment. He said equipment could be installed in just one day and that is expected to happen in mid-October.
"I can't think of any better way to spend park dedication funds than on this," said Henke.
In other Crosslake city action, the city council authorized city attorney Paul Sandelin to draft the second amendment to the Specific Implementation Plan, or SIP, to allow for the development of a proposed 54-unit hotel and restaurant on a 2.8-acre parcel of land in Crosslake Town Square.
Kenneth Anderson, community development director, asked council members for direction on a variety of issues involving the project, including parking and roadway access concerns and building height requirements. The council also discussed the possibility of future construction of a snowmobile and walking trail system to the hotel and restaurant.
The proposed plat calls for 131 hotel parking spaces while the restaurant, which will have a seating capacity of 150, will have about 41 parking spaces, said Anderson. Anderson said his concern is that there may not be enough parking if the restaurant is classified as an accessory use structure to the hotel as it is now. The city's parking ordinance is allowed to have 50 percent fewer parking spaces than another commercial business. He asked the council if it were acceptable to them to allow the restaurant to remain classified as an accessory use.
Council member Dean Swanson said many of the patrons to the restaurant will be hotel guests so they will only take up one parking space.
Council member Dean Eggena said he has never agreed with the city having a parking ordinance.
"I think it's the responsibility of the property owner, "said Eggena. "If you were to drive there and the parking spaces are full, you're not going to eat there. It happens all the time. I don't think it's the city's responsibility to make sure there is enough parking at the restaurant."
Anderson said since the Crosslake area is largely used for recreation, he said the parking lot may be overfilled with large vehicles and trailers hauling snowmobiles and boats.
Eggena said he didn't believe that would be a city issue.
"It's not a city function to make sure the guy with a Donzi (boat) and a Suburban has got a place to park in front of the restaurant," said Eggena. "That's not my problem as a city councilman. That's his problem. I don't see it as a public safety issue."
Eggena said he was in favor of having a hotel or motel in the city.
Anderson said after the city attorney draws up the second amendment for the Specific Implementation Plan it will be up to the planning and zoning commission to review the plans and conduct public hearings. The council also may conduct a special meeting on the development. The council may vote on the commission's recommendation on the project and approve park dedication at its 7 p.m. Oct. 10th meeting, said Anderson.
The city council authorized Sandelin to send a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requesting data on their wastewater treatment operations to allow the city to compare their figures to the cost the city would charge if the corps hooked up to the city's wastewater system.
City administrator Tom Swenson said the city has had several discussions with the corps regarding connection of the campground to the new municipal wastewater collection system. The campground chose not to connect to city wastewater during the 2003 construction phase of the sewer project and wants to now but doesn't want to pay the user charges the city believes it should pay as a significant user of the wastewater system.
David Reese of Widseth, Smith, Nolting told the council that the corps would like the campground to be treated as a single commercial connection, which would cost about $5,500. But Reese said the campground's usage would be equivalent to about 30-35 residential units. Sandelin said the corps could challenge the city's fees but the city can justify the charge.
"They are a different user, they really are," said Sandelin.
JODIE TWEED can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.
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