Running Aces wants billing on street signs

Columbus Council supports harness park with dual street name

Jennifer Mevissen
Staff Writer

At the Columbus City Council meeting on Wednesday, April 11, members unanimously agreed to support Running Aces Harness Park’s petition to Anoka County asking to give Zurich Street a joint name.

The reason for proposing the change is that the county right-of-way for CR-23 makes it almost impossible to place Running Aces signage that can be seen from the intersection of Zurich St. and Lake Drive.

“We get the advantage of having our name out on the road,” said John Derus, spokesperson for Running Aces Harness Park.

Giving the street a dual name – like Running Aces Blvd./Zurich St. – would greatly aid in their customers’ ability to locate this turn, he noted. Derus noted the harness park has had informal discussions with the county.

“As you know, we have a large park and ride there, too,” he said.

City Administrator Elizabeth Mursko said the same situation arose with another Columbus business; 147th Avenue shares equal designation as Gander Mountain Drive.

“That’s how it’s signed today,” she said.


Derus said several bills have been stalled in the 2012 Legislative Session, including one for a racino.

He said a proposal to expand electronic gaming is in the Senate Rules and Administration Committee chaired by David Senjem (R-Rochester).

“Who’s been a friend to us on this issue,” Derus said of Senjem.

However, Derus said Senjem has not brought the racino bill out of committee. Action will most likely be ignited by legislators looking to balance the budget.

Racino advocates estimate adding slots at Minnesota’s two race tracks would generate approximately $100 million each year in new revenues for the state, add thousands of construction and hospitality jobs and foster $400 million annually in new economic activity throughout the state.


Quad 35

Before the city council meeting, Kate Garwood, Anoka County multimodal transportation manager, and Beth Bartz, principal of SRF Consulting’s Environmental & Community Planning Group, gave an update on the Quad 35 project.

The interchange at TH-97 and CR-23 (Lake Drive) has been eyed for reconfiguration. The project is working to identify a future road system that will serve planned development and be safe and efficient long-term.

An open house is set for Thursday, May 3 from 6-8 p.m. at Columbus City Hall, 16319 Kettle River Blvd. Hear more about the transportation study at a short presentation at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re sending out postcards,” Garwood said of the open house.

She noted the city of Columbus suggested changes last week to the draft plan, which council members would like to see made before next month.