A wakeboard park could soon be opening in Isanti

By Elizabeth Sias

The Isanti City Council at its meeting March 6 authorized city staff to prepare a use and lease agreement with 10K Wakes for the construction of a cable wakeboard park in Bluebird Park just south of the Rum River BMX track.

Isanti Mayor George Wimmer presents Finance Director Kristi Smith with a commendation award for her years of service to the city. Smith resigned to take the Finance Director position with Inver Grove Heights. The plaque reads that Mayor Wimmer “recognizes Kristi Smith for exemplary service to the city of Isanti from October 27, 2008 to March 16, 2012, serving in the position of Finance Director.” Mayor Wimmer added, “She has really become an expert in all different areas of city operations. She’s going to Inver Grove Heights and they’re getting one heck of a great finance director…When a good employee leaves like this, it’s not a good thing for the city, but it’s a really good thing for that employee and I can never hold anything against an employee who’s going to go on and advance their career and get to do wonderful things.” Photo by Elizabeth Sias

In September 2011, the Park and Recreation Board held a discussion with representatives Kris Jedda and Jake LaFerriere from 10,000 Wakes LLC—or 10K Wakes—which was incorporated in March 2006. They said they’re looking to create a 500-foot by 90-foot pond that’s six feet deep. Two cable towers would be placed at either end of the pond, which would pull riders from one end to the other, so they can experience wakeboarding.

“It’s quite a unique facility for this area—for the entire Midwest,” Isanti Mayor George Wimmer said. “I think we hopefully should have a good relationship with a wonderful new amenity to the city that should draw in quite a whole different crowd.”

Initially, 10K Wakes would like to place a trailer on-site, which would store rental equipment as well as items for sale. A six-foot fence and camera system would be placed to provide security for the wakeboard facility.

10K Wakes entered into an escrow with the city which can be used to refill and restore the area to its current condition if the business fails. Based on City Engineer Brad DeWolf’s decommissioning estimate, 10K Wakes agreed to an escrow amount of $20,000 as recommended. Before construction of the facility, the company would provide the amount, which would be held by the city and used to restore the site if the business fails or stops operating.

According to the preliminary business plan and site plan, the city would receive 5 percent of the revenue from the wakeboard park for 10K Wakes to lease the land. Dirt removed to excavate for the pond would be stored on-site and any area disturbed would be reseeded.

The park would use city water to fill the pond and would be responsible for paying the city according to 2012 water billing rates. With an estimate of 750,000 gallons, the fee to fill the pond would be $3,710. By the third year, 10K Wakes would need to install a permanent connection to the water system, have a meter and have piping constructed.

A temporary trailer would be brought in for the first two seasons. After that, a permanent building would be constructed on the property.

The park would be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. during summer months. People attending would be provided with a wristband, and others could watch from the side of the pond. 10K Wakes proposed to use the pond in the winter as a hockey or open skating rink, with the shop building used as a warming house.

In addition to moving forward with a use and lease agreement with 10K Wakes, city staff is authorized to call for a public hearing on behalf of the Park and Recreation Board for site plan and building appearance approval after the company submits a complete application.

Conditions for the application include addressing any tax implications and determining how or if it will affect the city, and the escrow account would need to be replenished.

In other action, the council:

• Approved plans and specifications for the 2012 Legacy Park trail project and authorized advertisement for bids.

• Awarded the bid to Jimmy’s Johnnys for portable toilet services.

• Awarded the bid to Marlene Skinner for animal control services including dog catching and kennel services.

• Awarded the bid for a historic downtown directional sign to KJD Signs.

• Temporarily combined the offices of City Clerk and City Treasurer. City Administrator/City Clerk Don Lorsung will serve as interim City Treasurer after Finance Director Kristi Smith leaves March 16 and until the city hires a new finance director.