Due to the Scandia City Council’s expectation of a large turnout, the public forum on April 25 about the Log House Landing and ramp was held in the Scandia Community Center’s Heritage Room, a larger venue than the council chambers. That turned out to be a good decision, as nearly 100 people attended.
Of that group, around 60 interested people, many of them neighbors and friends, walked up to the microphone and expressed their opinions, often exhibiting strong feelings about the topic. In many cases, the speakers provided a history lesson to those who have only been following the Log House Landing story in more recent years.
There were mostly Scandia residents in attendance but also people from Wisconsin, Chisago County, St. Paul, Minneapolis and other locations. Many lived in Scandia or the surrounding areas, but people also spoke of their families owning seasonal cabins or lake property on the St. Croix River for multiple generations.
Each speaker was given three minutes to state their case and were asked to reveal their choice of four options for the landing. The options were to leave the landing as it is, close it, rebuild or remodel the ramp, or allow only carry-on vessels such as canoes and kayaks to use the ramp.
Bill Buehl, a Scandia resident, supports the carry-on only option.
“I can’t envision a concrete ramp and the bigger boats that would use it,” he said.
Duane Reese, of Lindstrom, said that he often uses the Log House Landing ramp. He spoke about the historic use of the ramp and believes in multiple use for this area. He doesn’t think one group should be left out in favor of another.
“The ramp is for everybody, not just canoers and kayakers,” Scandia resident Marcus House said.
Kendra Egansen has lived on the river for more than 50 years and wants to keep the ramp open, but not with concrete. She doesn’t want to lose Scandia’s character.
Mike Smith liked the carry-on option.
“Has anyone seen the size of the boats going there now?” he asked. “They have just gotten bigger and bigger along with bigger motors.”
The council sat quietly and listened to each speaker, keeping track of the time and giving a notice when each individual was left with 30 seconds to speak. People were given a chance to send emails to City Administrator Neil Soltis in advance of the hearing. The emails were mostly in favor of the carry-on option, as was an unofficial count of those standing and speaking to the council and the audience. At a council work session on May 3 (after press time), the council convened for what could be a final decision on the landing.