Harris Lake Park
|Address||1620 Mississippi Street NE|
|Start Date||June 2027|
|End Date||October 2027|
|Current Status||Implementation Planning|
|Park Type||Neighborhood Park|
|Special Use||Stormwater storage; Water frontage|
Harris Lake Park is situated on Harris lake with very scenic views. Its location is along Mississippi Street. This busy route is not conducive to pedestrian connectivity to the park. It has a playground, shelter and picnic areas overlooking the lake.
Recommendations and Estimate of Probable Costs
General recommendations include redevelopment with some minor layout modifications to incorporate new amenities and replace existing amenities for an improved recreational experience with strengthened connection to Harris Lake and improved pedestrian access. There are existing plans to modify Mississippi Street with a pedestrian route along the south side of the street that will help improve overall access to the park.
- Landscape enhancements and screening
- Open lawn with low-grow and/or pollinator-friendly turf mixture
- New playground
- ADA compliant playground surfacing (engineered wood fiber)
- Concrete playground border
- Picnic shelter with two tables
- Small parking area for improved access and safety
- Site furnishings with common characteristic (benches, tables, receptacles, bike racks, drinking fountain, etc.)
- Trail amenities (bike rack, kiosk)
- Walk and trail connections to create an internal loop
- Lake seating areas
- Dock on lake
- Potential water treatment area
- Security light
The estimate of probable costs for completing the recommendations shown range from approximately $314,000 to $425,000.
A total of $50 million in possible park system improvements were identified in the Park Plan. Based on resident input, Fridley City Council directed staff to work with a Park Plan Refinement Task Force advisory group to recommend $30 million in park projects that would be most impactful to the community.
Further, a resident Finance Task Force recommended funding the park system improvement plan by issuing General Obligation (GO) Tax Abatement Bonds for $20 million in bond proceeds, being repaid over no more than 15 years, with an additional $10 million to come from other City of Fridley funds.
Tax abatement is a tool that can be used by cities to abate all or a portion of property taxes levied by the City for a given purpose, such as public infrastructure improvements. All taxpayers, whether identified as an abated parcel or not, will continue to pay property taxes as they normally would. Minnesota Statute 469.1813 gives cities authority for tax abatement, and this has become an increasingly common means of funding park improvements, as they provide benefit to all residents. A requirement is holding a public hearing for the consideration of tax abatement, and that was held on May 23, 2022.The bonds will be repaid over 15 years with annual debt service payments being levied for and it is likely there will be an increase in property taxes beginning in 2023.
This plan will provide many opportunities for expanded recreation programming, enjoyment of nature and social gatherings. Enhancing and modernizing the city park system will position Fridley as a great place to live, work and play now and for many years to come.