Coon Rapids kicks off Summer in the City

The Coon Rapids City Council kicked off its 2014 Summer in the City program in city parks June 24.

Sunrise Pond Park, 125 124th Lane NW, the city’s newest park created a few years ago when the Crescent Ponds housing subdivision started to develop, was the location of the first of four Summer in the City events planned this year.

Summer in the City is an opportunity for residents to meet their councilmembers and talk with city staff about projects in their neighborhood and the city as a whole, according to Kristin DeGrande, city neighborhood coordinator.

DeGrande mails out invitations to the Summer in the City programs to residents living in the neighborhoods of the parks.

The June 24 event followed the format of previous years, beginning with an open house with refreshments and table displays set up by various city departments for people to browse plus a police squad car, a fire truck and public works equipment for youngsters to explore.

City departments represented included parks, engineering, forestry, cable television, assessing, city center, community development and golf course.

Mayor Tim Howe spoke about upcoming events, development projects, park bond referendum update, technology, city and county street projects, police update and neighborhood reinvestment.

Summer in the City, now in its fifth year, has been “a very useful tool for us” to let residents know what is happening in the city and in their neighborhood specifically, according to Howe.

“We are able to keep people up to date about what is going on and also give residents the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns on issues in an informal setting,” Howe said.

There was also time for a question and answer period with residents, while those attending were invited to fill out a survey which made them eligible for a drawing to win gift certificates for the Harvest Grill restaurant, which is located in the city’s Bunker Hills Golf Course clubhouse.

An estimated 50 people stopped by the event, including many parents with their children, who took advantage of the playground equipment.

A picnic shelter is scheduled to be constructed in Sunrise Pond Park this year through the city’s 2014 park improvement fund budget.

Improvements will also take place at the other three parks on the 2014 Summer in the City itinerary –  Peppermint Stick Park Tuesday, July 22; Lions Coon Creek Park Tuesday, July 29; and Riverwind Park Tuesday, Aug. 26. All run from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Work planned at Peppermint Stick Park this year includes new playground equipment, trail upgrades and other amenities with money from 2014 park improvement budget.

Proceeds from the 2013 park bond referendum approved by voters will finance upgrades to Lions Coon Creek Park and Riverwind Park in future years.