By John McLoone The Hastings City Council is being asked to support a no wake zone, on the recommendation of its Public Safety committee. The ordinance would make the portion of the Mississippi River …
By John McLoone
The Hastings City Council is being asked to support a no wake zone, on the recommendation of its Public Safety committee.
The ordinance would make the portion of the Mississippi River from Lock and Dam 2 to the Hastings Marina a “No Wake” zone.
The matter was discussed by the Public Safety committee last summer and again at its March 4 meeting.
The matter would need approval of Dakota and Washington Counties with approval of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
In 2014, the matter was brought up and dropped after opposition from sheriffs of both Dakota and Washington Counties.
At the Public Safety Committee meeting – attended by Councilmembers Lisa Leifeld, Lori Braucks and Trevor Lund, as well as City Administrator Dan Wietecha and Police Chief Bryan Schafter – the consensus was to ask the City Council to pursue a “no wake” ordinance.
The “no wake” ordinance would be helpful to stop erosion along the Mississippi River Shoreline. Tom Day of Hubs Marina and the Friends of Hastings No Wake Zone said public safety is the biggest reason for the ordinance. The wakes can knock over people on docks and swamp small boats.
In a memo to the City Council for its meeting this week, Schafer wrote: “The ‘no wake’ discussion has been ongoing for the past several years. The request for ‘no wake’ is borne out of concern for erosion of the shoreline and safety. In addition, the revitalization of downtown now presents an opportunity to attract more boat traffic and visitors if a ‘no wake’ zone is enacted. Realizing ‘no wake’ zones are present throughout neighboring cities to include, but not limited to Afton, Prescott, Red Wing, it begs the question, ‘Why not Hastings?’” After the official request died in 2014, supporters of the ‘no wake’ zone “engaged in a messaging and signage campaign ‘requesting’ boaters to observe ‘No Wake’ between CP Railroad Bridge and Hastings Marina,” said Schafer. “In addition, extra patrols were conducted by Dakota and Washington County Water Patrols during ‘high water’ and public events along the levee.”
Last year, the matter was brought up with hopes that decisions makers had changed their minds.
Schafer’s memo states: “After reaching out to the DNR and Dakota and Washington Counties, the following was discovered: •DNR – They stay out of these debates during the process since they are the deciding regulatory authority. Once the proposal is received, the DNR has 120 days to decide. If the DNR fails to do so within the 120 days, the proposal takes effect.
•Dakota County Sheriff – A legal “No-Wake” zone would be the correct thing to do, however with this comes agreement with all enforcement entities, public comment, and continued vetting.
•Washington County Sheriff – Remains in opposition.
Public Safety Committee discussed the importance of gathering data about safety, property damage, and erosion to “build the case” for Dakota and Washington Counties to support a no wake ordinance.”
Hastings officials would like a “no wake” zone to protect the shoreline from erosion and for safety reasons.