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Residents complain about lack of information, changes to Jaycee Park

Neighbors of Jaycee Park attended Tuesday night's city council meeting to complain about a hockey rink going up in the park. Resident Janelle Graham said residents living near the park were not notified and only learned of the plans when light poles started going up.

"We consider ourselves great neighbors of Jaycee Park but when this hockey rink is being built unannounced, we feel like you're not being good neighbors back to us,"Graham told the council. 

The hockey rink is one of the two that were located in Central Park. The rinks are being moved to make way for a splash pad, which is currently under construction.  The other rink will be relocated to Bloomfield Park.

While she's in favor of the splash pad, Graham said she doesn't see the rink as an asset to Jaycee Park and would like to see it go somewhere else. Specifically, Graham said she doesn't feel as though the city acted in the best interest of the park.

"We'd like it not to go there," said Graham.

In the past, Graham said the city has notified residents of changes to the park. For example when the playground equipment was replaced, the city asked for the neighbors input. In this case, Graham said there was no such communication.

City administrator Dwight Johnson apologized to the residents for the oversight. While he wasn't sure much could be done to stop the rink from being placed in the park, he said the city would try to find ways to make it more acceptable to neighbors of the park.

Parks and recreation director Dan Schultz said he planned to have a neighborhood meeting in the coming weeks to listen to concerns. Schultz said he was confident they could come up with some sort of resolution.

Schultz said the rink will be moved to Jaycee Park because it has all the amenities including water hook-up and electricity needed for a rink. The park also has the space for the rink.

Graham said she can't dispute the logistics of why the rink is being installed in Jaycee Park but she wishes the city would have consider other options.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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