Coon Rapids, county to partner on new park sign

The existing entrance monument sign to the Bunker Hills Golf Course and Clubhouse/Bunker Hills Regional Park at Main Street and Foley Boulevard will be replaced.

Earlier this year, the Coon Rapids City Council gave the green light for the installation of a new monument sign with a digital reader board feature.

The project will be a cooperative effort between the city and the Anoka County Parks and Recreation Department, which operates the regional park in which the city-owned golf course and clubhouse are located.

Nov. 13, the Anoka County Board approved a joint powers agreement with the city which spells out the cost sharing for the project.

The city and county will split the construction cost 50-50 with the county’s share capped at $100,000.

But the latest cost estimate is for $175,000, according to Tim Himmer, city public services director.

The original sign was installed by the city and county in 1994 to promote activities at the regional park and golf course.

But the existing sign is hard to maintain and has to be manually changed, according to John VonDeLinde, county parks and recreation director.

The new sign will be “more sustainable, more effective in promoting the park and easier to maintain and operate,” VonDeLinde wrote in a report to the county’s Parks and Recreations Committee, which recommended approval of the joint powers agreement.

The agreement not only addresses construction cost sharing, but also maintenance, operation and future repairs.

The new design will be a large electronic readerboard which will be programmed by the city with information provided by the county, according to Himmer.

The readerboard can be divided into segments for the different activities to be highlighted, Himmer said.

These include the golf course and Harvest Grill restaurant at the clubhouse for the city as well as regional park activities, Bunker Beach Water Park and extension service programs for the county, he said.

City crews have been working at the new sign location to put in place a street-level berm on which the new sign will be placed, Himmer said.

But installation of the sign won’t take place until the spring of 2013, he said.

The bidding process for the project is expected to take place in January or February once final design plans have been approved by the county and city council, Himmer said.

Under the joint powers agreement, the county also has to sign off on the construction contracts before they can be awarded by the council.

“We hope to have the sign up and running by June,” he said.

The city is responsible for all sign construction, including utilities, while the county will develop a landscape plan and pay for the landscape installation, but the city will maintain it, the joint powers agreement states.

The design of the monument sign will match that of the new Bunker Hills Golf Course Clubhouse that the city opened in 2011, according to Himmer.

According to City Manger Steve Gatlin, former city public services director, the replacement of the sign was part of the original plans for the new clubhouse.

For the project, the city has brought in the same team that worked on the clubhouse project – architects Partners & Sirney for the design work and construction manager Amcon to manage construction.

The city’s share of the project cost will be taken from money left over from the clubhouse project, which came in under budget, Gatlin said.

The county’s share will come from the regional park legacy program, according to VonDeLinde.