Closing Eagle Lake to public discussed
News | Published on January 12, 2022 at 3:05pm EST | Author: Chad Koenen0
Future land sale back on the table
By Barbie Porter
The future of Eagle Lake Park was discussed during a Parks and Recreation Committee meeting on Monday, Jan. 3.
The park, which is outside the city limits, has been reviewed for potential sale, as well as a four-pad seasonal RV site. The land is almost 5 acres, flat and with ample shoreline. The purpose of considering a land sale or camping sites is to raise funds to tend to the parks and beach in the city limits, as well as to maintain the public lake access at Eagle Lake Park.
The county granted a variance, which opened the option of having an RV site at Eagle Lake Beach. However, residents of the lake opposed.
Parks and Recreation Committee Member Mark Flemmer, who is also a city councilman, noted during the county variance hearing he learned there were many safety hazards at Eagle Lake Park, from playground equipment to the swimming area. He questioned if there should be more thought given to selling the land.
Parks and Recreation Committee Member Mike Sharp, who is also a city councilman, agreed. He noted the cost of fixing all of the safety concerns brought forth to the county variance meeting would be expensive. He said an updated appraisal should be done.
Three lake residents also attended the committee meeting. One asked what the appraisal amount when the city ordered one a few years ago.
While the amount was not known, it was recalled discussions were had with the Department of Natural Resources as the park has the only public access to the lake. Flemmer recalled the DNR was not interested in purchasing the boat landing. If the DNR did not have access that would have implications in regards to stocking fish and patrolling the lake.
Sharp added the location of the boat ramp would decrease the viable lots, if the city was considering subdividing the land to sell.
Three Eagle Lake residents attended the meeting. One asked of the location of the proposed RV sites. It was explained the seasonal pads would be located along the woods and the amenities discussed would be similar to what is offered at the campsites in the city—a fire ring and electricity and water hook ups.
A lake resident suggested the committee consider privatizing the park entrance and moving forward with the seasonal RV site. He said most objections to the RV site at the county meeting were with safety concerns. Having four seasonal RV renters at the park would allow unsafe playground equipment to be removed, and less public traffic may be a welcome option for other lake residents.
The lake resident added if the city decided to sell the lot, the lake residents may create a group to buy it, as that would provide all on the lake with access to put in watercrafts and remove them. Some areas of the lake have steep banks.
Another lake resident suggested if the city moved forward with the RV park and left the park open to the public, it would be unlikely they would have return customers for the seasonal sites once “they see how the park is used.”
Issues of excess trash, vandalism, unattended children and using the boat dock for swimming were noted issues of concern.
Flemmer thanked the lake residents for attending the meeting, noting their input had “been helpful.”