Work planned at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park boat launch

Anoka County hopes to make improvement to the boat launch at the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.

On the recommendation of its Parks and Recreation Committee, the Anoka County Board Jan. 22 authorized submission of a grant request to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through its Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program.

Specifically, the project for which the grant is being sought would construct a pull-off lane near the boat launch where boaters could clean off their boat and trailer, according to John VonDeLinde, county parks and recreation director.

In addition, the project would include installation of a wash station where boats and trailers could be sprayed down, VonDeLinde said.

The purpose is to prevent the spread of invasive species to other bodies of water, he said.

That would be part of a statewide campaign by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to educate boaters to clean off their boats and trailers in an effort to eradicate or significantly reduce the spread of invasive species into the state’s bodies of water, according to VonDeLinde.

In a memo to the county board, Karen Blaska, park planner, wrote that the project also includes constructing an infiltration basin to collect the run off and installing instructional and educational signs to teach boaters how to properly clean, drain and dry their boats before going to another body of water.

The estimated cost of the project is $50,000 and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant, if approved, would pay for half of that, according to VonDeLinde.

The county is also hoping the Coon Creek Watershed District will chip in up to $10,000 for the project, VonDeLinde said.

The balance would come from state bonding dollars through the Metropolitan Council that the county is scheduled to receive as part of a larger project planned to take place at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park in 2014, he said.

That’s the reconstruction of the boat launch parking lot and access road, the final phase of a three-phase project to reconstruct all the parking lots and roads within the park with state bonding dollars, VonDeLinde said.

That work is included in the Metropolitan Council’s capital improvements program for which it will be seeking state bonding money, he said. “We are hoping to dovetail the projects,” VonDeLinde said.

The boat launch area work is scheduled to take place in 2014 once the rehabilitation work at the Coon Rapids Dam has been completed on the Anoka County side, according to VonDeLinde said.

The contractor on that  project will be working on the Anoka County side of the dam this year and once the equipment is moved to the Hennepin County side, hopefully by the spring of 2014, the county will be able to move forward with the boat launch project, VonDeLinde said.