Little Falls shelves idea of disc golf course

Staff Writer

Attempts to get a disc golf course for the city of Little Falls may be stalled, after the Council failed to reach a consensus on what it wanted to do.

At the Council’s work session Monday, Councilman Frank Gosiak and Public Works Director Greg Kimman updated the Council on how things had progressed.

A new issue, Kimman said, was whether or not the city even wanted one now, because the county included updating its course at the Morrison County Belle Prairie Park to 18 holes from the current nine in its master plan for Belle Prairie Park.

This plan is contingent on the city not building its own course, Kimman said.

Gosiak said he thought the city-owned park property near Chief Hole In The Day Industrial Park, north of the Morrison County Fairgrounds would make a good spot for a course.

Twelve businesses had already said they’d donate baskets, Gosiak said.

The cost of having city crews put a course in at the site would be $17,300, Kimman said.

Gosiak disagreed, saying the city could staple carpet to the ground as tee off points, rather than install concrete slabs, and that there were volunteers who would be willing to work on the project.

Gosiak argued against simply letting the county expand its course for three reasons:

  • It would be a long distance for people to bike;
  • A town of Little Falls’ size could have more than one course to allow people to have a choice in where they played; and
  • The county moving forward with expanding the course may fall through, as the last time the Belle Prairie Park course was going to be expanded, it was halted due to finding a rare native grass, Gosiak said.

Council President Jeremy Hanfler and Councilman Leif Hanson thought the site near the industrial park was also too far away for kids to bike.

This has been the third location Gosiak suggested, and he said the last.

“I’m tired of dealing with it. It’s been over a year,” Gosiak told the rest of the Council.

“I’m not against disc golf, but now we’re on location three,” Hanson said.

Gosiak’s first suggestion was to use the site northeast of town near the Belle Prairie Athletic Complex, but the Council felt that plan used too much of the site and would prevent other potential projects from being developed there.

Then Mill Park was suggested, but that idea was dismissed after the Council learned it would be unable to remove the ruins of the old paper mill, and turning the park into a disc golf course would be unsafe.

The city could look at working with the county to make one great course at Belle Prairie, Mayor Greg Zylka said. The expansion could also be sped up then, rather than simply being part of the county’s long-term goals for the park.

The conversation came to an end when Hanfler asked the Council whether or not there was consensus on what to do, which the Council was unable to provide.

Little Falls City Council Briefs

In other business Tuesday, the Little Falls City Council:

  • Approved the final assessment rolls totalling $158,694.39 for residents along street projects on Seventh Street Southeast between Second and Fifth Avenues Southeast, 14th Street Northwest, Fourth Avenue Northwest and Fifth Street Northwest;
  • Approved the final assessment of $4,995.70 for 40 property owners who have property along sidewalks that were improved by the city this year;
  • Ratified and confirmed a $3,000 grant from the Initiative Foundation for downtown revitalization;
  • Accepted a $3,587 grant from the Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education, for reimbursement of firefighter training done by the Little Falls Fire Department;
  • Approved a raffle permit for Little Falls Youth Hockey at the Exchange Arena, Jan. 31, 2018;
  • Approved the purchase of a copier for the Little Falls Police Department costing $3,540;
  • Approved an agreement with Morrison County so the county can host meetings at City Hall while renovations are happening at the Morrison County Government Center;
  • Approved a grant agreement with the state of Minnesota for it to cover $41,871.18 of the $267,958.82 pavement rehabilitation project at the Little Falls-Morrison County Airport. The Federal government is covering $201,737, while the city and county split the remaining $24,350.64; and
  • Approved having Short Elliott Hendrickson look at a plan from Verizon Wireless to put small cell installations in light posts in the downtown area. The cost, $6,270, would be reimbursed by Verizon Wireless.

The next meeting of the City Council is Monday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at Little Falls City Hall. A special work session and public forum will precede the meeting.