Anoka to put Green Haven project on hold

Anoka is putting the brakes on a project to revamp the entrances at Green Haven Golf Club.

While not on Monday’s work session agenda, Councilmember Jeff Weaver did suggest the city put the project on hold, instead redirecting the money to fix the city’s roads.

“We can’t defer these streets,” Weaver said. “I would say let’s defer the Green Haven project.”

The city had planned to spend more than $720,000 on the entrance upgrades this summer.

Councilmembers Mark Freeburg and Steve Schmidt supported the switch.

Weaver said the money needs to be spent in Anoka’s neighborhoods.

“We need to put every extra dollar into roads,” Freeburg said.

Mayor Phil Rice was absent from the meeting, but he has been critical of the Green Haven project’s high price tag. Councilmember Carl Anderson was also absent from the work session.

This has been an especially hard winter on streets everywhere, and it’s going to get worse, according to Greg Lee, Anoka’s public services director and city engineer.

And they are going to be expensive to fix.

“Prices for our streets are going to skyrocket this year,” Lee said. “Every community is in the same situation, and there are only so many contractors who do this kind of work.”

He said those contractors’ schedules will fill up immediately.

Lee also told the council staff will be coming back with a prioritized list of streets that need repair.

The council recognized the problem is a lot bigger than can be fixed with that $720,000.

“We’re asking city staff to look at other ways to bring funds to the streets sooner, rather than later,” Schmidt said.

In the past three years, Anoka has resurfaced nearly 7 miles of streets to the tune of $3 million, largely funded by the city’s electric utility.

This has been outside of the annual street renewal program.

Thurston Avenue will get an emergency reconstruction this summer, according to Lee. But that work will be paid for with future state aid that comes from the gas tax. This will encumber Anoka’s share of the gas tax through 2019, he said.

That work will include a full depth reclamation from Highway 10 to Bunker Lake Boulevard.

Property owners are not charged an assessment for street surface improvements, which is a different type of project than a total street renewal, which would include the replacement of underlying utilities, all curb and gutter, electrical and street signs. In those instances property owners do pay an assessment.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]

  • Pat Walker

    A few shovels full of cold patch and we will be right back to pouring money into Greenhaven.
    Just calm the voters. As soon as the grass turns green, they will forget and we can get back to developing. You know, buying banks, backing restaurant’s and removing tax paying properties from the general fund and placing them in the TIF account.