Dinghies ordered removed from dike road shorelineThe renters of sailboat moorings will be ordered to remove their dinghies the from the dike road shoreline by Nov. 15 following a 4-2 vote by the Hudson City Council on Monday night.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
The renters of sailboat moorings will be ordered to remove their dinghies the from the dike road shoreline by Nov. 15 following a 4-2 vote by the Hudson City Council on Monday night.
The motion by District 2 Alderperson Mary Yacoub also said sailboat owners won’t be permitted to tie their dinghies to the dike during the 2013 sailing season.
Dinghies are the small rowboats sailors use to get to and from their sailboats anchored in the St. Croix River along the dike road.
Public Works and Parks Director Tom Zeuli reported that the city’s Park Board had had a long discussion about the dinghies at its Sept. 4 meeting.
The Park Board recommended the removal of the dinghies, Zeuli said, out of concern about the appearance of the shoreline and consistency with a city ordinance that prohibits boat parking for more than four hours on city property.
Zeuli said he and the Park Board are exploring other options for dinghy storage.
He said he had talked to Gordon Jarvis, owner of Afton-Hudson Cruise Lines, about expanding the river dock where the Grand Duchess boat is kept to provide space for dinghies.
Zeuli said consideration also has been given to providing city-owned dinghies that the sailboat owners could use. Another possibility, he said, was for the sailboat owners to put their dinghies in at the Lakefront Park boat launch.
A handful of sailboat owners who attended the meeting didn’t think much of those plans.
“The sky is not falling,” said Jim Ostergaard of St. Paul, who has had a mooring in Hudson for a number of years.
“The people need quick and easy access to get out to those sailboats,” Ostergaard said. He pointed out that he paid the city $575 for his mooring this season, and that the 49 moorings generated a total of $28,000 for the city.
He said that if owners don’t have a convenient way to get to their sailboats they won’t want to pay for a mooring.
Ostergaard argued that the sailboats add to the charm of the riverfront, as opposed to being a liability.
A New Richmond sailboat owner agreed with Ostergaard, adding that he spent $1,500 at downtown Hudson restaurants and businesses over the past year.
“I’m sure there are many solutions that can be worked out,” he said, asking the council to refrain from any action until a plan is agreed upon.
Yacoub alluded to the recent decision by the City Council to order the removal of private docks on city property between Lakefront Park and St. Croix Street. She said the city needs to be consistent regarding the parking of boats on public property.
“You can’t have a policy one way for one situation, and one way for another situation,” Yacoub said.
Ostergaard’s wife, Pat, said the dinghies and the private docks are two very different issues.
“We are renting a spot. They weren’t renting a spot,” she said.
Pat Ostergaard said the contract that owners sign for a sailboat mooring addresses dinghies, saying they need to be numbered the same as the sailboat.
Former District 5 alderperson Scot O’Malley also spoke on behalf of the mooring holders. He said that when he had a mooring years ago, he not only got a spot for a dinghy, but a parking place on the dike road.
“You’re talking to paying customers of the city of Hudson,” O’Malley said of the mooring holders.
Paul Radermacher, chairperson of the Park Board, said the board has been talking about the dinghies for a long time, and is close to making a recommendation on how to address the situation.
He said the board understands the sailboat owners’ concerns.
Alderperson Kurt TeWinkel, the council’s representative on the Park Board, also promised that the board would have a solution to the issue in time for mooring holders to decide whether they wanted to renew their leases for 2013.
Bernard initially seconded Yacoub’s motion. She withdrew her second when Yacoub insisted that prohibiting dinghies from being stored on the dike shoreline be part of the motion.
“I want all options on the table,” Bernard said.
District 5 Alderperson John Hoggatt then seconded Yacoub’s motion.
Council President Rich Vanselow and District 1 Alderperson Randy Morrissette II also voted in favor of the motion.
It was opposed by Bernard and TeWinkel.
Vanselow presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Alan Burchill, who was said to be attending to a family emergency.