Crookston RV park delayed after protest
Plans for a recreational-vehicle campground taking up a portion of a beloved Crookston park have been put on hold after public protest. At Crookston City Council meetings Monday, city officials decided to take one more week to consider possible s...
Plans for a recreational-vehicle campground taking up a portion of a beloved Crookston park have been put on hold after public protest.
At Crookston City Council meetings Monday, city officials decided to take one more week to consider possible sites other than the one on the south end of Castle Park.
The new RV park would house seasonal American Crystal Sugar workers and boost tourism in Crookston, said Shannon Stassen, city administrator.
But more than 100 area residents voiced their concerns about not wanting to disturb the natural landscape of the 28-acre park on the city’s west end with the private development, which would include 40 to 45 campsites.
Castle Park was damaged after it was used as a construction site for the city’s flood protection project in the 2000s, residents put much time and money into rebuilding it.
“We’ve just continued to say that there are other options for the RV park,” said Shirley Iverson of the Castle Park Preservation Group.
But Stassen said that, in his opinion, “really the one and only site (for the RV park) is Castle Park.” While residents admire the park for its beautiful, natural environment and its recreational opportunities with a dog park and playground, those are also opportunities to offer tourists, he said.
“You’re not finding those kinds of amenities at any of the other sites,” he said.
One alternate RV-park site being considered is near Castle Park, he said, but it doesn’t have the same ready infrastructure that Castle Park does.
As proposed, the RV park would include 2 acres from Castle Park, which the city would sell to a private developer, and about 2½ acres from a private landowner.
Stassen didn’t have details on a plan for any alternate sites, but said the plan would have to be different from the Castle Park plan.
Residents have criticized the city’s lack of openness and communication about the proposed RV park.
“I think there are a lot of processes taking place now that would have been better suited to take place months ago,” Iverson said.
The city was originally approached about the RV park about two months ago by private developer Jeremy Jennen. He has an RV park in Hillsboro, N.D., that caters primarily to American Crystal workers there.
Crookston City Council members will revisit the RV park plans at a Ways and Means Committee meeting 5:30 p.m. Monday.
On Saturday, the Castle Park Preservation Group is hosting a rally at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the park, featuring a 5K walk at 10:30 a.m. called “Costumes for a Cause.” Iverson said participants are encouraged to wear costumes.