Lake Elmo approves new park


submitted graphic A graphic mockup of a new Lake Elmo park, save for a few changes for safety, which was approved by the Lake Elmo City Council April 2.

Solomon Gustavo/Review The lot on the corner of Blazingstar Lane and Wildflower Drive where the Lake Elmo City Council approved a new park.

The Lake Elmo City Council on April 2 voted 3-2 to approve the construction of a park between the Wildflower and Village Preserve neighborhoods on Blazingstar Lane and Wildflower Drive. 

The lot on which the park will sit, which was donated to the city, is three-quaters of an acre. City staff reviewed three bids to build the park and recommended the plans with the most amenities, at an estimated cost of $103,000. 

Council members Justin Bloyer and Dale Dorschner voted against the park, expressing concerns over the cost. 

Bloyer said city conversations tend to revolve around saving money, and that there are other parks like Lions Park and the park at Lake Elmo Elementary near the two neighborhoods. 

“Trying to cross CSA 14 with young kids is seen as a challenge” when traveling to Lions Park, said City Administrator Kristina Handt, repeating comments from a community parks discussion. Grandparents with young children also can’t go to the school park during the school day, she noted. 

“I don’t think it’s so bad to walk a half a mile with your kids,” said Dorschner. “If you want to drive, you have a lot of options. Lions, the [Lake Elmo Park Reserve]; there’s parks all over the place.”

The Wildflower and Village Preserve neighborhoods showed interest in a park. One of the residents even conducted surveys so the city could know the exact park people wanted. Playground classics like swings, slides and monkey bars scored high on the survey. 

Mayor Mike Pearson noted the community support, and that the issue of what to do with the empty lot would likely come up again in the future. He and council members Christine Nelson and Lisa McGinn voted for the park, passing the motion. 

 

—Solomon Gustavo

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