After years of city and community discussion about the site, it looks like the Log House Landing and ramp will stay the same after a 3-2 vote by the Scandia City Council at the May 3 council work session. After a motion by Councilman Jim Schneider to leave the Log House Landing ramp as it is, Schneider, Ness and Councilman Bob Hegland voted yes and Councilman Steve Kronmiller and Mayor Christine Maefsky voted no to the motion.
The council had previously agreed that there were four options to consider for the future of the landing: close it, remodel, allow only carry-in vessels or leave it as it is. On April 25, a public forum was held for people to be counted and speak to the council in regard to the four options. There was also an opportunity for anyone to write in to express their opinion regarding the ramp. Somewhere between 300 and 400 names were counted by email and almost 100 people showed up for the public forum, with 61 people speaking there. The count from these contributors was well in favor of the carry-in option. No one wanted the landing closed.
At the work session, the discussion began with a long evaluation and history of the council’s handling of the subject by Kronmiller, who was in favor of making the landing a carry-in location for canoes and kayaks and eventually a park for anyone to use. He named five reasons for his decision: cost, erosion, sustainability, public safety and access.
“I have been told that the use of the planks for the ramp donated by the Department of Natural Resources don’t do anything to ease the erosion,” Kronmiller said. “Some people think that we are putting one group of people against another. I support the carry-in option and possibly at some point turning it into a park.”
Both Ness and Schneider wanted the landing to continue to be available for use by everyone, including people with boats and motors.
“I agree that no one wants to close the ramp, but to limit this jewel to ‘not in my backyard’ people is just wrong,” Schneider said. “Rivers erode. That’s what they do. I’m for leaving it open to everyone.”
“Erosion seems to decrease or increase depending on the people involved,” he said. Leaving it alone is the best option.”
Maefsky explained her reasoning for wanting to take steps to preserve the site.
“I think about those in Scandia who want a quiet place to sit and enjoy the river,” she said. “Log House will never be a destination for large crowds, but Scandia has a recreation and tourist destination that we have hardly tapped. It is the things we love most about Scandia that make it a tourist attraction. … It’s a site that had a purpose but doesn’t have a purpose anymore.”