Improvements coming around Green Haven

Plans are moving forward to reconstruct Greenhaven Road as well as the parking lot and entry area to Green Haven Golf Course.

The project is currently estimated to cost just over $1.8 million. But staff will be trying to get the project to work within the $1.7 million allocated for this construction in 2013.

Improvements to the road were part of the development agreement with HealthPartners, which is building a new RiverWay Clinic on the old Castle Field site. It is scheduled to open in July.

The look of this road will be familiar to those in Anoka.

“This is a pretty easy one to envision,” said Todd Hanulen, a landscape architect with Kimley-Horn and Associates, hired to design the project. “It’s reminiscent of what we’ve seen on the Main Street project.”

As an extension of West Main, Green Haven Road will travel past the new clinic and lead into the golf course. It will be slightly realigned at the golf course entry.

“Something has to happen. It’s too small and it’s falling to pieces,” said Councilmember Mark Freeburg about the parking lot.

“Not only are we improving the aesthetics and the traffic flow, we’re also increasing the capacity there,” said Dan Coyle, project manager with Kimley Horn.

Reconfiguring the lot will increase it by 100 spots to 280.

The additional parking spots are needed during Green Haven’s larger events. Golf Manager Larry Norland said about seven to 10 times this summer guests were required to park off site near the old Castle Field.

While the original estimate for the project is $2 million, City Manager Tim Cruikshank proposed shaving nearly $200,000 from the costs by delaying the expansion of a regional storm water pond that is not needed until there is more development in the area as well as working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to have the state replace its storm sewer infrastructure off Highway 10.

The Anoka City Council Monday had a second look at the project during a work session. This included a proposal by staff that could have scaled back the project, cutting costs of nearly $500,000.

But that plan was not supported by the council.

Councilmember Jeff Weaver stressed the importance of doing the project right the first time around.

“There won’t be that second time chance,” said Weaver.

With the HealthPartners construction already under way, the area is ready for more redevelopment and the golf course entry is in need of improvements and enhancements, according to the council.

The base bid of $1.25 million includes improvements to the road and the parking lot. An additional $150,000 has been budgeted for enhancements to the banquet hall entrance.

With $1.25 million included in the 2013 budget for the project, staff are proposing the city borrow the remaining $500,000 from the city’s electric utility fund balance.

As a successful enterprise fund, the utility has in the past been used to subsidize projects in the community.

The council generally supports the idea of borrowing money from the utility. That money would be paid back through funds generated through the Greens of Anoka TIF District, which captures increased tax revenues for redevelopment.

“It’s no different than a business where there are different pieces of the puzzle,” said Weaver of the successful enterprise fund. “Some are more profitable than others.”

Work on the road needs to be largely completed before the end of June in time for the clinic’s opening.

Councilmember Steve Schmidt is pushing for more visibility for Green Haven’s signage, particularly to boost business at the banquet center.

“All this is beautiful, but I don’t think it gets anybody off the road or off the street,” said Schmidt. “This is a business guys, not a monument.”

While the current project does include an enhanced entrance sign to the golf course, it is not visible from Highway 10.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]