Friends of Scandia Parks and Trails
2010 Annual Meeting - January 21, 2010
The meeting was called to order at 7:10pm. 30 members and supporters were present, and all indicated their interest in becoming supporters of the Friends. A quorum was declared to be present by Tom Triplett, the board chair.
Tom introduced the following members of a panel on the Gateway Trail: Kent Skaar, head of trails at Mn DNR; Mike Prichard, chair of the land acquisition committee of MN Parks and Trails Council, John Oldendorf, chair of the Gateway Trail Assn, and Dennis Seefeldt, mayor of Scandia. Key points:
1. Land acquisition is proceeding for property from Pine Point Park to Hwy 97.
2. Property owners have expressed interest in selling in addition to conveying easements.
3. The DNR will not be condemning land for the trail even though it is permitted to do so.
4. The Parks and Trails Council of MN wants DNR to reimburse it for land acquisitions.
5. DNR has funding available for acquisitions but the money will cancel back if not used.
6. City leaders would like the trail to come thru the downtown to help local businesses.
7. Nothing is being done for acquisitions north of Hwy 97; DNR planning will begin in 2011.
8. Despite the hurdles noted above, trail expansion is moving along very positively.
9. There appears to be several ways by which the Friends can help with Gateway expansion.
Karen Schik reported on the results of our survey of Friends, city residents, and Lions members. Highlights include: 65 persons responded to the survey which invited persons to indicate support for up to three priorities. Of the total respondents, 63% expressed support for Gateway Trail expansion, 60% for developing walking/hiking trails, 46% for bike trails, and 43% for preserving open space. Other choices ranking lower included about 30% for each of the following: Hay Lake ("Lions") park, invasive species control, and horse trails. Lilleskogen Park development was 23%, and developing boat landings and new parks were each about 8 percent.
Special reports were given by Rich Burton, Laura Kemmis, and Tom Krinke on issues relating to a possible network of bike trails on existing roads in the city, strong interest by city horse owners for an expansion of horse trails in addition to the Gateway, and hiking/walking trails. All of these will be further discussed by the Board.
Mike Harnetty told the group that as Lions president he has identified the Hay Lake city park (on Olinda at about 195th) as a top priority for the club. He wants to see the park be better used. The only structure on it now is the Lions picnic pavilion. Mike White reported on the Friends' initial analysis: that main uses could be as an athletic field, as a natural prairie or orchard, as a trailhead for trails throughout the city, or as some combination of all of these. Before anything substantive can be accomplished, the park grounds need substantial restoration.
The meeting concluded with several business matters. Board Secretary Steve Ledo summarized activities of the Friends over the past year (administrative activities, obtaining picnic tables for the ball fields, building a website and database, providing information at Taco Daze and Vinterfest).
Matt Rasmussen and Sally Swanson reported on activities of the city's Parks/Rec Committee and how the Friends and PRC can work together.
Board Treasurer Rich Burton reported that we have $1382 in our treasury; his report was adopted by the members. He also reported that three persons, including two new members(!) contributed $20 each at the meeting. This will bring the total membership to about 120 families.
Elections were held for the 2010 Board of Directors of the Friends. All current members were re-elected. These include Judy Rydeen, Michele McNulty, Rich Burton, Steve Ledo, Karen Schik, Mike Harnetty, Mike White, Tom Krinke, Matt Rasmussen, and Tom Triplett. Julie White and Sally Swanson were elected as new members. Persons representing the horse owners were invited to suggest a board member, and they agreed to do so.
The meeting adjourned at about 8:45pm to a social hour with cookies and beverages provided by Judy Rydeen and the Swensons.
[Note: regular meetings of the Friends Board of Directors is the second Monday of every month at 7pm at the Community Center. All members of the Friends are invited to all board meetings.]