New readerboard at Coon Rapids park is up and running

An electronic readerboard sign installed through a donation from the Coon Rapids Lions Club is operating at Lions Coon Creek Park.

The new electronic readerboard sign at Lions Coon Creek Park for which the Coon Rapids Lions Club donated $17,000 to the city. Photo submitted
The new electronic readerboard sign at Lions Coon Creek Park for which the Coon Rapids Lions Club donated $17,000 to the city. Photo submitted

“The Lions are super excited that it’s up and running,” said Lori Anderson, Coon Rapids Lions Club president.

According to Anderson, city residents can now get information on current Lions events, Coon Rapids Athletic Association (CRAA) events and other information as they drive by.

“It’s absolutely beautiful and we couldn’t be happier,” Anderson said.

The club donated $17,000 to the city in November 2011 to pay the bulk of the cost of installing the electronic readerboard sign at the park, but it took a year to get it installed and operated.

And Anderson appeared at a Coon Rapids City Council open mik session in September to express concerns over the delay.

Anderson told the council that the company with whom the city had contracted for the sign was not fulfilling its obligation.

In his response to the council Oct. 2, City Manager Steve Gatlin said staff had met with the sign company, Signcrafters, about the status of the sign installation and was told that the sign would be completed by Oct. 15.

“Staff will follow up to ensure completion and proper installation,” Gatlin wrote in his response.

“The Lions would not be penalized in any event as the contract is with the city.”

Anderson was back at the council’s open mik session Dec. 4 to thank city staff for their efforts to get the sign installed and operating.

The first signs went live the week before Thanksgiving and it’s “gorgeous,” Anderson said. “We are thrilled,” she said.

Mayor Tim Howe thanked Anderson for bringing the delay to the attention of the council and by doing so, that helped move the project along, he said.

“It looks really good,” Howe said.

The park, which is located on Hanson Boulevard, between Northdale Boulevard and 121st Avenue, was developed by the city thanks to a sizable financial contribution from the Coon Rapids Lions Club.

The readerboard replaces the current manually-operated message board at the park.

The cost of the new sign is $20,227, with the balance coming from the city’s parks department budget, according to Gatlin.

Located on 15 acres, Lions Coon Creek Park boasts the city’s largest play structure.

The park also features three picnic shelters available for rent, two softball fields, basketball courts, a bocce ball court and volleyball court.

There is also a trail within the park with access to the Sand Creek/Coon Creek trail system. Coon Creek flows through the park.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]