BIG LAKE - When Bettina Potter drove past Lakeside Park on the way to the April 22 meeting of the Big Lake City Council, she says she observed 28 vehicles with trailers parked at the city park.
Potter says with boating being allowed as a respite from the current stay-at-home order put in place by Gov. Tim Walz, it is shortsighted to think that Lakeside Park will be busy only on the weekends.
Potter said the City Council should restrict non-city residents from using the parking at the park.
“I strongly suggest thinking of our residents who pay for that park and perhaps limit significantly the people who are not in the 55309 zip code,” Potter said.
That includes limiting the ability of non-residents to purchase parking passes, she said.
“The sooner we get information out to the public in regards to potentially restricting access to that park, the better it is for city residents,” Potter continued.
Potter doesn’t want to see a scenario where city residents who want to use the park are prohibited from doing so because of what she referred to as an “influx of outsiders.”
The Big Lake City Council is aware of concerns regarding a potential influx of Lakeside Park users due to park and boat launch closures in other communities due to COVID-19 and acknowledges that a significant increase by non-resident users would likely have an adverse impact to resident parking and access to Lakeside Park.
At its April 22 workshop, the City Council discussed defininge areas of the parking lot for seasonal passes and day passes. Under that plan, seasonal pass holders will be prioritized while still allowing day passes. The proposal includes increasing staff during busy weekends to coordinate parking.
The City Council intends to tackle the Lakeside Park parking issue at its May 12 meeting.
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