Hansen Park Comprehensive Water Management Project FAQ
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Who is responsible for the Hansen Park Project?

The Rice Creek Watershed District’s (RCWD) Hansen Park project originated from a 2013 petition to the RCWD by the Cities of New Brighton and St. Anthony Village to establish a Basic Water Management Project to address stormwater management and flooding within the contributing drainage area to Ramsey County Ditch 2 (the City of Roseville was later added to the petition).

Was the public involved in the process?

RCWD and City staff held numerous meetings leading up to the start of the project including a heavily attended open house/neighborhood meeting.  Recommendations were provided by the City’s Parks, Recreation, and Environmental Commission (PREC) to the City Council.  Important dates up to the start of the project are shown below:

2015

Mar 04     New Brighton PREC Meeting Informational session, presentation included use of ballfield area for permanent soil storage.

Mar 24      New Brighton City Council Meeting Informational session, presentation included use of ballfield area for permanent soil storage.

Mar 25      RCWD Board Meeting (M.S. 103B.251 Public Hearing) Ordered the Hansen Park project under M.S. 103B.251.

Jun 1         Hansen Park Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) Published by RCWD

Jul 10        RCWD Board Meeting (Hansen Park Project Site Tour)

Jul 22        RCWD Board Meeting (EAW Findings of Fact Approved)

Nov 11       New Brighton PREC Meeting
Major discussion on ballfield area options (approved plan to eliminate west fields)

Nov 12       Hansen Park Neighborhood Meeting held at New Brighton Community Center

Nov 24      New Brighton City Council Meeting
Major discussion on ballfield area options (approved plan to eliminate west fields)
 

2016

Jan 27       RCWD Board Meeting
Preliminary approval of Project Agreement w/City including ballfield plan

Feb 23       New Brighton City Council Meeting
Approved Project Agreement w/RCWD including ballfield plan
Approved submittal of M.S. 103E Impoundment Petition to RCWD

Mar 09     RCWD Board Meeting
Approved Project Agreement w/City including ballfield plan
Accepted M.S. 103E Impoundment Petition by City

Apr 27       RCWD Board Meeting (M.S. 103E & M.S. 103G Public Hearings)
Granted M.S. 103E Impoundment Petition by City

Jun 21       RCWD Board Meeting (Hansen Park Project Plans released for contractor bidding)

Jul 27        RCWD Board Meeting (Bid awarded to Rachel Contracting, Inc.)

Aug 31       Notice to Proceed issued to Rachel Contracting, Inc. – Construction Begins

Why was the dam removed/replaced?

The existing ponding basin (and dam) in Hansen Park was originally constructed in 1969 to be 4-feet deep. Following years of sedimentation, the pond depth was only 6-inches just before the project.  RCWD worked closely with the Minnesota DNR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) to implement the removal of the dam and excavation of the pond.  The pond depth when complete will again be an average of 4-feet deep.  However, the normal water level will be lowered 2-feet and the dam was raised 2-feet.  This combination allows for an additional 11.6 million gallons of water to be stored in the park during heavy storms.

How much will this project cost and who is paying for it?

The RCWD was awarded a BWSR Clean Water Fund Grant from the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment, in the amount of $3,000,000, to complete a series of projects designed to clean up Long Lake. One of these projects, the Hansen Park Comprehensive Water Management Project, is expected to cost a total of $4.8 million. $1,540,000 of the grant was allocated to Hansen Park and the RCWD is providing the remaining costs of the project.

The trail on the west side was frequently under water, will this be improved?

The trails on the west are raised by this project and will be constructed to reduce the frequency and duration of flooding on park trails during/after large rainstorms. Additionally the project removed the boardwalk trail east of the dam and converted it to gravel.  During the summer of 2017 the bridge near the Hansen Park shelter experienced flooding and this structure and adjacent trails will be raised in 2018 prior to completion of the project.

When will the project be complete?

The remaining dredging will take place in early 2018, with trail work, grading, and revegetation to be completed in the summer.   The final planting plan will expand the growth of aquatic plants in the pond, and incorporate native plants throughout the project site (including pollinator-specific plants).  The raised park trails on the west side will be paved in late summer 2018.  The water level in the pond will be raised to normal around this time as well.

Are the dredged materials contaminated?

Prior to the project, the existing pond bottom soils were characterized and compared to MPCA guidance documents. All materials meeting Dredge Management Level 2 or 3 have been and/or will be hauled offsite to an approved disposal location (i.e. landfill).  Materials meeting the criteria for residential re-use (Dredge Management Level 1) will be placed in the open area previously used as youth ball fields.

Why did we lose the youth ballfields?

The youth ballfields on the west side of Hansen Park were often wet and were our lowest quality fields. The City Council, PREC, and staff approved relocating these youth fields to the east side of Hansen Park to the current adult fields at this location.  These fields have fences and will be reconstructed/regraded to meet youth needs.  The two adult fields had undulating outfields (ankle breakers) and were often wet.  These two existing adult fields will be reprogrammed to the newly constructed lighted ballfield at New Brighton’s Lion’s Park.

What will become of the youth fields?

Existing excavation material from the pond meeting MPCA residential standards was placed in this area as part of the project. The area was raised above the floodplain and will be mowed turf grass with un-programmed use as this time.

Was the City paid for placing the material on the youth fields?

The RCWD’s Hansen Park project allowed for the contractor to store excavated materials in the open area to allow the soil to dry before being hauled out. This activity would either require the fields to be regraded/replaced or RCWD would compensate the City for it to create fields in a different location.  The City agreed to the removal of these fields in exchange for $200,000 up front, and approximately an additional $100,000 at the completion of the project.  The first $200,000 was used towards the adult softball field at New Brighton Lion’s Park, and the remaining funds will be used to improve and convert the existing adult fields on the east of Hansen Park for youth use.

What is the purpose of the sandy/beach looking areas at the north end of the park near 7th Street?

This area is an Iron-Enhanced Sand Filter (IESF) and its purpose is to improve the quality of water flowing through the park and down to Pike Lake and Long Lake. It removes phosphorous from the water by pumping pond water through the filter beds, thus reducing algae blooms in the downstream lakes.  This feature will be operated and maintained by the RCWD.