Park sign project given green light by Coon Rapids, county

A new entrance monument sign to the Bunker Hills Golf Course and Clubhouse/Bunker Hills Regional Park at Main Street and Foley Boulevard will be constructed this year.

The Coon Rapids City Council has approved a joint powers agreement with Anoka County for cost sharing on the sign project.

The Anoka County Board approved the joint powers agreement in November.

According to City Manager Steve Gatlin, city crews have put in place a street-level berm on which the new sign will be placed.

But winter weather will prevent the concrete foundation from being poured until spring, Gatlin said.

A March/April start on the project is planned with completion in June, he said.

The digital readerboard sign will be used by both the county and city to advertise the various activities and facilities located within the park, according to Tim Himmer, city public works director.

The Anoka County Parks and Recreation Department operates the regional park in which the city-owned golf course and clubhouse are located.

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

“In addition to the cost split for project funding, both entities will be providing labor and materials for portions of the work in an effort to keep costs down,” Himmer wrote in a report to the council.

The latest cost estimate is for $175,000, he said.

The city is taking care of site plan development and grading, which is now substantially complete, according to Himmer.

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 by the county board in November.

The agreement also addresses 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.

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 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 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 dollars, according to VonDeLinde.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]