Lonsdale Council approves boardwalk trail extension



After two years of planning and working out challenges in extending the Heath Creek trail in Lonsdale, a development agreement between the City of Lonsdale and Generation Home Building Center, LLC was approved by the Lonsdale City Council on Thursday, Dec. 27, during the regular meeting. Heath Creek trail runs along the creek on the northeast side of the city.

City Planner Benjamin Baker told the council that there were two main issues that held up the extension connecting Heath Creek trail running south of Hwy. 19, to connect to the Northeast Trail, which runs north of Hwy. 19. The first was the failing WELCO retaining wall which forced the city to close a portion of the already constructed trail in June, 2011. The second issue was that city staff needed time to research boardwalk trails. Because the extension will be constructed over wetlands, Baker explained that 8ft. x 6ft. sections of treated pine would need to be constructed and elevated no more than 2-1/2 ft. off the ground over the wetland that wraps around Generation Building Center. He added that the design is similar to that seen at state parks. In all, 855 linear ft. of boardwalk will be needed.

Councilor Cindy Furrer inquired whether MnDOT had approved the trail crossing at Hwy. 19, something she voiced concern about at a previous meeting. 

Baker said they received preliminary approval for an unmarked crossing at Hwy. 19, but that the proposal had to go through several departments before final approval was granted.

“We did a lot of research on where the crossings have been allowed in the state and we’re pretty sure it will happen,” Baker replied. “It’s a real win for Lonsdale, especially for those who like to walk or bike.”

Construction on the extension is expected to begin in the spring. 

Also approved:

• The council approved re-appointing Dave Dols as Lonsdale Fire Department Company “A” Captain, and appointed Scott Sticha as Company “D” Captain. Mayor Tim Rud thanked former Company “D” Captain Paul Jirik for his many years of serving in that capacity. A city memo stated that Firefighter Jirik decided not to re-apply for the position but to serve in other capacities in the department.

• The council accepted the resignation of Carol Dietz from the Economic Development Authority. Erickson said she served on the commission for almost 10 years, and that she was, “A voice of reason and always spoke positively about Lonsdale.”  

Next Meetings:

• The annual re-organizational meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 3 at City Hall. A public hearing for comment on the 2013 fee schedule will start the meeting at 7 p.m. 

•  The next regular meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10.

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