Mini town considered for skating rink area
By Barbie Porter
The Frazee Parks and Recreation Committee has big plans in the hopper.
The group has been discussing how to make Eagle Lake Park an amenity that pays to help the city improve parks and public spaces in city limits.
Years ago the idea of selling the property was considered, as that would provide a large fund for the park department. However, the idea created concerns from residents that own property along the lake, who use the public access at the park/beach to put their boats in the water in the spring and remove them in the fall.
The concept of creating a seasonal RV site has also been discussed, as that option would provide continuous cash flow to the park and recreation budget.
There are many regulations and hoops to jump through before the idea of a seasonal RV campground could be a possibility. During the monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 5, the committee members were OK with taking steps toward determining if the option of building a second RV campground is viable.
Committee member Mike Sharp said he spoke about the seasonal campground with a representative of Becker County Planning and Zoning, as the park is out of city limits. He was told, the site has potential for four RV spots. Any more sites would mean more regulations and costs.
Sharp provided the committee with an rough sketch of what the four-pad seasonal sites could look like.
Before additional steps can be taken, a variance from the county would need to be secured. Sharp explained if the property had 300-feet of lake shore frontage, then a variance would not be needed, but they only have 240 feet.
The committee would also need the city council approval, a conditional use permit from the county and to tackle considerations of taxes, licensure, insurance, septic service and much more.
Sharp remarked that none of the additional legwork matters if the county declines the variance request.
“If the variance is denied, then we are dead in the water,” he said, adding he believed if the variance is granted there would be a window of a year or two to break ground.
The committee agreed to seek council approval to move forward with obtaining a variance from the county.
Skating rink may be
future site of tiny town
Now that the site of the city skating rink was determined, the committee dove into enhancing the green space for year round usage.
It should be emphasized the concept discussed has yet to be approved by the city council.
Committee member Mark Flemmer said the Utilities Superintendent Larry Stephenson pitched an idea of building a western-themed town at the site. Essentially, it would be a prop like what is found at movie studio lots. The front appears to have several shops and even patios with porches people can sit. The back, however, is plywood.
Stephenson said the city crew could build the structures, with the majority of costs going to poles to secure the structure and decking. He said the porch and benches would need to be made of quality material as people would be invited to sit and rest after skating or to take pictures.
The faux buildings would be made of reclaimed lumber and other vintage material (including doors and windows). The committee discussed asking downtown businesses to sponsor a faux building. The money would allow the business to have their name at the top.
The group noted the idea would be unique to Frazee, enhance the skating area in the winter and provide a fun setting for other activities during the rest of the seasons.
Park ideas pitched
The committee discussed the park that has frontage along Otter Tail River and is located across from the high school.
Flemmer said he recently visited a park in another town that had created a basic miniature golf park, a natural play area and other amenities. That led to Trisha Jorud suggesting a bean bag area. The bag boards could be made of metal or concrete and secured to the ground, so those using the facility would need to bring bags.