Weekly E-Newsletter - Fall

Dear Subscriber:

Thank you for signing up to receive the City of Elk River's weekly E-Newsletter! Here is everything you need to know about this past week, as well as news and information about upcoming projects, events, and more. Have a great weekend!

City Hall Hours:
(M-F) 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Active Elk River - Lion John Weicht Park New Renderings

Active Elk River Update - New 
Renderings of Lion John Weicht Park

Check out the updated renderings of the improvements and additions currently underway at Lion John Weicht Park by clicking here. Enhancements to this park are some of many that make up the Active Elk River plan and include two fast-pitch softball fields, modern restrooms, a 100-person pavilion, concessions and expanded parking.

Just north of Lion John Weicht Park, construction on the new multipurpose facility is underway, which will provide two rinks for ice and dry floor events, 30,000-square foot turf field house, catering café for meeting and community events, and dedicated senior citizen space for services and programming.

Both projects are slated for completion in fall 2020. Learn more about all the improvements that make up Active Elk River by visiting ActiveElkRiver.com

169 Redefine Logo

169 Redefine, Open House Oct. 29

You’re invited to join staff from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), City of Elk River and Sherburne County, on Tuesday, October 29 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Elk River City Hall (13065 Orono Parkway) for an informal open house to discuss 169 Redefine. At the event, attendees can view the preliminary design that will convert Hwy 169 to a freeway.

All are welcome at the open house - residents, business representatives, and any other interested parties. The project team will be available to answer questions and address any concerns. When complete in 2024, the estimated $157 million Corridors of Commerce funded project will increase capacity, reduce bottle necks, and improve overall traffic flow and accessibility and safety for motorists and pedestrians. 

Never miss a 169 Redefine update by signing up for Notify Me, the city’s online notification tool which sends project-specific updates straight to your email or smartphone, whenever new information becomes available. Additional information on this MnDOT project can be found on the city’s website

School Street Weekend Lane Reduction

Weekend Lane Reduction of Eastbound School St.

Heads up, everyone! A small portion of the southbound lane of eastbound School Street is now closed through Sunday, October 20. The closure spans from the western driveway of Central Lutheran Church to just east of Lions Park Drive to accommodate concrete curb installation. With a promising forecast for the weekend and decreased traffic due to MEA break, crews should have no problem getting this critical infrastructure work completed by Sunday.

William H Houlton Proper Uses

Proper Uses of William H. Houlton Conservation Area

William H. Houlton Conservation Area (WHHCA) is one of Elk River’s most precious outdoor amenities. This 338-acre natural oasis was purchased from the Houlton family in 2014 by The Trust for Public Land, which works to protect, enhance and restore wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game and wildlife habitats. Funding was provided through the Outdoor Heritage Fund, and upon acquisition of the land the property was donated to the city. With that protection and enhancement objective in mind, WHHCA visitors are encouraged to enjoy unparalleled bird watching, hiking, walking, photography, fishing and hunting (in accordance with state regulations) while also noting the following prohibited actions:

  • No dogs (one exception explained below)
  • No ATV or snowmobiles
  • No bike or horseback riding
  • No camping or camp fires
  • No organized athletic or social events such as a wedding

Retrievers used by waterfowl hunters in season for the express purpose of retrieving downed game serves as the sole exception to the WHHCA dog restriction. Retrievers must be on leash from the parking lot until the hunter reaches the designated waterfowl hunting zone. The purpose of this rule is to prevent dogs from disturbing ground-nesting birds and other wildlife; as well as to ensure quality hunting opportunities for users of the property.

To learn more about WHHCA click here, or other Elk River outdoor amenities/parks please visit ElkRiverMN.gov/ParkDirectory. For more information on Elk River’s controlled archery deer hunts visit ElkRiverMN.gov/2019DeerManagement.

Vendors of Farmers Market Aid CAER

Generous Farmers Market Vendors
Aid Local Food Shelf, CAER

The 2019 Elk River Farmers Market has come to an end, but we’d be remiss to go without mentioning the generosity demonstrated by many of our vendors throughout the season. Each week following the market, a representative from Community Aid Elk River (CAER) Food Shelf was on site taking donations of unsold produce, still at the peak of its freshness but may go unused before the next market opportunity for the vendor.

Throughout the course of the season, vendors donated 4,372 pounds of produce to CAER, providing fresh, healthy options to local families in need. 

Bravo, vendors and thank you for your generosity! 

Sweeper Debris Hauled Away from Maintenance Facility

Where Does Sweeper Debris End Up?

From spring until fall Elk River Public Works crews are routinely running street sweepers through the city, picking up hazards to roads and waterways like sand, salt, leaves, grass clippings, litter and more.
Have you ever wondered what happens to that material once it’s swept up? In Elk River, sweeping debris has a designated drop-off location selected because of its proximity far from any waterways, adjacent to the Maintenance Facility. Recently, two years’ worth of sweeping debris totaling roughly 1,100 tons was removed from the site for disposal. Because the sweepings are made up of a variety of materials, it is not ideal for reuse on public land. The sweepings are deposited at a nearby landfill and used for daily cover.

Harmful Impacts of Feeding Deer

Harmful Impacts of Feeding Deer

As of September 1, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has expanded the areas in which deer feeding/attracting is prohibited, however Sherburne County is currently not included in the banned areas. That being said, Parks and Recreation Commission members recently had a lengthy discussion about whether or not a deer feeding ordinance should be implemented in Elk River, in an effort to proactively approach both deer herd management issues, and the control of wildlife diseases. Many residents simply enjoy watching deer in their backyard, which is why they provide a continual food source of salt, corn, grain, etc., however it may not be known the negative impacts this seemingly minimal action can have on the deer population, as well as others who live in the community. Here’s what you need to know about deer feeding and attracting:
Why are feeding and attracting bans in place in some areas of Minnesota?
Feeding and attractant bans are in place across the state to prevent concentrations of wild deer in areas with a higher risk for disease. These bans are precautionary steps the DNR took after deer that tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) were found both in the wild and on deer farms.
What is chronic wasting disease (CWD)?
CWD is a fatal neurological disease that impacts the cervid family which includes deer, elk, moose, reindeer and caribou. It causes spongy degeneration in the infected animal’s brain, and can be easily spread to other cervids through saliva, urine, blood, feces and antler velvet.
How does feeding deer increase CWD?
Food sources can concentrate deer and allow for close contact – one of the mechanisms for CWD spread.

To view a map of prohibited deer feeding areas in Minnesota, or to learn more about the impacts of CWD visit the DNR’s website. After careful consideration, the Parks and Recreation Commission decided against recommending an ordinance banning feeding/attracting deer at this time, however the city encourages residents to refrain from this action upon learning how harmful it can actually be.

Liquor Store Specials

Liquor Store Specials Oct 14-27

Employment Opportunities 

  • Code Enforcement Officer - FT
  • Cablecaster - PT
  • Warming House Attendant - PT
  • Ice Arena Worker/Ice Resurfacer - PT
  • Public Works Fall Seasonal Laborer - FT
  • Liquor Store Clerk - PT

To learn more about employment opportunities with the city click here.

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