New public docks with the opportunity to rent boat slips are going in on the upper Rum River in Anoka.
The docking system will be installed next year north of the Rum River Dam at city hall, giving boaters the opportunity to travel the upper Rum, according to Public Services Director Greg Lee.
The Anoka City Council agreed with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board’s suggestion to charge $800 per season for each of the six slips that will be available.
This will be separate from a docking system farther up the Rum River, which is being proposed for residents of the future Rum River Shores housing development.
The city is planning to enter into an agreement with the housing association for the development to lease the six slips to homeowners for the first eight years.
The dock and slips on the upper Rum River will be the same as the setup below the dam, installed last year near the boat launch and Akin Riverside Park. These boaters do have access to the Mississippi River.
Here the six slips are leased to capacity, according to Lee. The dock includes a metal barrier between the public portion of the pier and the privately leased slips.
Anoka residents receive first preference in leasing the slips, which are awarded by lottery if interest exceeds what is available. Those approved for a lease are able to secure their spot for up to eight years.
“We’ve made considerable inroads for making this river available for river use,” said Councilmember Carl Anderson. “We have really focused on our river assets.”
When he first had a pontoon boat, Anderson said he would leave it tied to a tree on the lower Rum River, although he was urged not to.
“We’ve come a long way,” he said. “Here we have provisions. “I would have a place to legally put (my pontoon boat).”
Lee said the lease fee will cover both capital costs and maintenance of the dock and slips.
Councilmember Jeff Weaver also recommended the city look into adding more slips if there is enough interest.
“If there’s a demand we should be able to try to accommodate that,” said Weaver. “At $1,800 a year (on the lower Rum River) you are going to get a pretty quick pay pack by adding two sections of dock.”
Any dock with more than six slips would need permit approval from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said Lee.
Mandy Moran Froemming is at firstname.lastname@example.org