Improvements needed at public beach in Frazee
By Chad Koenen
The Frazee EDA is hoping it can avoid an archeological study at Town Lake Park and proceed with a variety of improvements like a new beach house.
During its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday the Frazee EDA discussed a recent request concerning an archaeological study of the area.
The new beach house could include new bathrooms, an area with concessions and non-motorized boat rentals, as well as a place to gather.
The project received a $250,000 grant, but was put on hold a bit when an on-site archeological dig found fragments of a Knife River Flint flake (chip of stone from making a stone tool). The artefact was stated to be an exotic material, which does not naturally occur in central Minnesota.
In past city council meetings, city council members and longtime city residents questioned if those items were moved on-site as quite a bit of earthwork has occurred in that area over the years.
Before it can proceed with any improvements to the area, the city needs to address the question concerning whether a study will need to be completed in the area or not.
“We have put a lot of things on hold, because we are waiting to hear on the archeological (decision),” said Frazee City Administrator Jordin Roberts.
Recently, Roberts and Frazee EDA member Hank Ludtke met with representatives from the Minnesota DNR about the project and asked how the city could proceed. Roberts said quite a bit of earthwork has taken place in that area over the years and the Minnesota Department of Administration State Historic Preservation Office would reconsider its determination that an archaeological study would be needed. The city can document a previous survey or disturbance to the area.
Roberts said the city will work with its engineers to see if it can proceed with the Town Lake Park project without the need of an archeological study.
In other news
• Received an update on the new business center retail space being constructed in downtown Frazee. The Frazee EDA members were able to see color samples and heard they also received an inquiry from a food orientated business that may be interested in leasing space at the facility.
• Approved the purchase agreement for the Sanders property building in downtown Frazee.
• Discussed the need for additional multi-family housing in the community. Roberts said multi-family housing doesn’t necessarily mean large apartment buildings, yet could mean a tri-plex or four-plex building that looks like a conventional house. Frazee EDA members highlighted several building projects in Perham and Detroit Lakes that utilized duplex, tri-plex and four-plex buildings to address a gap in multi-family housing.