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Crosslakers Report: Three critical meetings

Three critical meetings, one in September and two in October, are dealing with initiatives of the Crosslakers. It is gratifying to see so much traction on the ideas that came from the public discussions at town meetings in 2016 now crystallizing into potential improvements for Crosslake.

National Loon Center town meeting

Without question, the most ambitious idea to come out of the 2016 town meetings was the possibility of locating a National Loon Center in Crosslake. The second of three National Loon Center town meetings will be held Tuesday, Oct. 17. Watch this newspaper for details on the location. At that meeting, a number of possible designs for the center will be discussed.

The first town meeting, held Sept. 7 at Manhattan Beach Lodge, was very well attended and featured faculty members from the University of Minnesota leading discussions on the opportunities and barriers posed by locating a loon center here. Some of the opportunities identified by those in attendance included: It would unite Crosslake, boost tourism, give people the opportunity to see loons up close, make Crosslake a destination city, make Crosslake a center for knowledge, improve the local economy and serve as an education center for all ages.

Some of the barriers to locating the Center here included: the city's infrastructure, sustaining interest and enthusiasm after the center is built, funding, naysayers who are against change and traffic.

Crosslake comprehensive plan update town meeting

The city of Crosslake is in the process of updating its comprehensive plan. In essence, the comprehensive plan is an expression of a community's vision for the future and a strategic road map to reach that vision. Members of the Crosslakers have been involved in this process, and the Crosslakers' guiding principles are embedded in the plan. The principles are: to enhance the unique ecology of Crosslake; create vibrant places that connect people to nature; establish a better balance of facilities for driving, biking, boating and walking; provide a diverse balance of housing, business and public amenities; and celebrate and preserve Crosslake's heritage.

The Crosslakers will not undertake any project unless it conforms to one or more of these guiding principles.

Members of the public were invited to a comprehensive plan town meeting Sept. 28, at the Crosslake American Legion, where they heard an update on the plan and provided their ideas and opinions.

Minnesota Design Team Visit

On Oct. 27, the Minnesota Design Team will revisit Crosslake to meet with Crosslakers and city, county, state and federal government representatives to hear an update on Crosslaker activities and to discuss the role of government in implementing the ideas that have been developed through the MDT's town meeting process.