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Crosslake: Citizens seek no wake zone on Cross Lake channel

Many Crosslake residents showed up at the Monday, Sept. 12, Crosslake City Council meeting to advocate for a "no wake zone" for the east channel leading to the southern portion of Cross Lake.

Boaters traveling into South Bay of Cross Lake will soon encounter a new slow no-wake zone. At the recommendation of the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, the county board Tuesday approved a resolution assigning that designation to the channel west of Sunrise Island.
Boaters traveling into South Bay of Cross Lake will soon encounter a new slow no-wake zone. At the recommendation of the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, the county board Tuesday approved a resolution assigning that designation to the channel west of Sunrise Island.

Many Crosslake residents showed up at the Monday, Sept. 12, Crosslake City Council meeting to advocate for a “no wake zone” for the east channel leading to the southern portion of Cross Lake.

The Crow Wing County Board granted that request Tuesday, Sept. 13, after public discussion. The vote was 3-1, with Paul Koering opposed and Paul Thiede not in attendance.

Monday in Crosslake, residents presented a petition with about 70 names of those in support of the no wake zone, many of whom live on Sunrise Island. But the fact that the city doesn’t have jurisdiction on water hindered the council’s discussion.

“We can stand behind our citizens. We have no jurisdiction, but we can support their position,” Mayor Steve Roe said.

Council member Brad Nelson didn’t feel the same way, as he believes the increasing number of no wake zones on the Whitefish Chain has “screwed up so much boating.”

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Nelson advised the council and residents to wait to decide anything until after the county board took up the issue.

“You better wait for tomorrow (Sept. 13) to find out if you’re only representing 3 percent, 5 percent or if you’re representing the majority,” Nelson said. “City council doesn’t support anything on this. Leave it to the county. Let the battles be fought there. I can’t believe this is even sitting here being talked about.”

Citizens countered Nelson, saying the channel is very unsafe as it is. Resident Randy Wischmann said both his boat and his dock have been totaled in this spot because of boaters passing at high speeds. He added that he hopes the city never has to deal with anyone getting hurt there.

Council member Gary Heacox questioned whether “No Wake Zone” signs would even help the problem, and the council ultimately decided not to act on the issue, with Roe saying he wanted to see the results of the meeting with the county board.

Related Topics: CROSSLAKEBOATING
Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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