RiverTalks Monitcello

Ellison Park in winter

Monticello's Ellison Park in winter

comments on wall maps

Comments posted on maps by RiverTalk participants.

historic photo of Monticello main street

Historical photograph of Monticello main street

January 28, 1998

Read what community participants had to say about Mississippi River issues.

Comments by category

Riparian Land Use and Development

  • My interest is in cleaning up the islands on the east side of Hwy 25 in Monticello. There was a lot of storm damage - mostly huge trees which are unsightly. Some of the property owners along there would like to clean up their banks - but what to do and how to manage the damage on the banks? I am on the Park Commission in Monticello and on the MCP board which is interested in the visual entrance on the Hwy 25 bridge.
  • Property owners have sacrificed payments and taxes sometimes a lifetime for what they have and enjoy. Others have invested in recreational pleasure and toys. Now it is viewed that the majority have the toys and the conservative have the playground, isn't it time we share?
  • If you have a lifetime savings account, isn't it time we share? Property is an investment like a savings, or stock, not to be discussed as something to compromise or share.
  • Clearing and development across from Boy Scout Point campground just north of Clearwater has greatly detracted from the view and scenic experience.
  • Concerned about commercial development between Hwy 101 and the river in Otsego. I think that strip of land should be kept free of development.
  • In May of 1997, the city council of Elk River voted "approval" of a strategic plan, that placed our farm as one of eight potential future, industrial property/business park sites. To accommodate their "Industrial Property Strategic Plan" they intend to do another city-initiated rezoning of our farm, putting more of our land into LI (light industrial) - moving the current LI zoned area line closer to the Mississippi. I don't want them to increase the LI zoning on our farm. In December of 1995 they put us in the Urban Service Area. I want the mayor, and the city staff of Elk River to leave us alone!
  • There should be restrictions on landowners preventing them from clearing and mowing right up to the edge of the river. This interferes with the natural beauty of the river.

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Wild and Scenic River Management

  • Lack of clarity in defining bluff line. Cold response from responsible DNR personnel. Their approach is first stake it out, then we will tell you if its OK - what about time and money invested in the property? If we had this property for 30 years, we care - why are we treated like the enemy?
  • My wife and I have been from St. Cloud to Minneapolis and St. Louis to Cairo, Illinois on the river. We also have 1800 feet of river frontage north of Monticello. It has been in the family since 1947. I feel that the river is great just the way it is. Don't change anything now. You may just mess it up.

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River Recreational Use and Management

  • Would like every effort made to keep it clean. The boat landing is like a dump to some people. Someone needs to police it.
  • River floats and excursions are enjoyable and should be part of river enjoyment, but this should have its designated stops, in's and out's, not imposing on private property. No one sees or enjoys the river more then a homeowner with silence, sunrise coffee on a deck, looking at the river under a rising fog. They pay for it this way:
    • 6 to 10 dollars per day property tax
    • 50 to 100 dollars per day home property purchase, with money they already paid about 38% in income taxes
    • I own four canoes and enjoy the river from that point of view, but a two dollar a year license should not give me preference over a home owner paying thousands a year in taxes.
    • Use of docks and boat lifts that protrude into the river should be restricted. These items detract from the natural beauty of the river. There should be restrictions on these for the scenic portions of the river.

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Personal Watercraft (Jet skis)

  • Possible restrictions on use of disruptive watercraft (e.g., jet skis, air boats, etc.). Such use interferes with more leisurely use of the river such as tubing, canoeing, fishing. They also affect the wildlife (especially eagles) along the river.

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Water Quality

  • The siltation resulting from construction for Cty. Rd 39 east wiped out 1/2 mile of excellent fishing holes - its taken 9 years for those holes to clean up.
  • Judging by the fresh water clam size, water quality is good - let's keep it that way.
  • Water runoff solutions for new developments need to be better thought out and monitored. For instance, Craig's River Ridge south of Monticello had a drainage pipe which was not well protected (i.e., sodded), and with last year's rain washed half a hill into the river making a huge sandbar!
  • Municipal sewage: proactive planning should be done so sewage treatment plants can be constructed large enough to handle future development before it occurs.
  • Pollution - we have human waste floating by our house. We are upriver from NSP on the Sherburne side about a mile!
  • Care should be taken in assuring no run-off or drainage from landfills along the river (e.g., NSP Sherco plant, VONCO landfill, etc.) actually reaches the river. These landfills should be situated such that they can not be seen from the river. Note: There are also private landowners dumps in ditches that drain to the river. These should be prohibited.

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River Flows and Dams

  • River concerns - water level changes too much! What or who determines the level?

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  • Re-zone goose hunting on Lily Pond Island.

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  • Slot method is good for smallmouth. Consistency and size of fish over 2 pounds is great - fishing is best its ever been!
  • Slot limit too excessive.
  • Like to see fishing laws enforced. Have never seen game warden on the river & everyone knows this.
  • I live on the river and have seen the game warden patrolling quite often.

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Multiple Topics of Concern

  • I have lived on the river for 58 years. I have seen the water quality and fishing diminish and return to what I think is equal to the '40's. I think the warm water of the power plants and open winter water has been a big plus to ducks, eagles, geese and swans.
  • Enforce existing laws, re:
    • Jet ski use
    • Fishing Regulation
    • Monitor government action as closely as you monitor public use.
  • Jet ski nuisance! Trash in River. Noxious smells from Cargill's operation carries long distances from their plant, contaminating a wide area.
  • Would like to see restricted "power" boat operation on this section of the "River"( ie., less than 20 hp.)
  • Would like to see total elimination of "personal" power watercraft ("jet skis") also from this section of river. /LI>
  • Reasons: I live on the river in this section and I am seeing increased streambamk erosion with increasing power boat use.

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Miscellaneous Comments

  • At formal public hearings extreme positions often express themselves, with the middle ground not being represented: this informal forum is a good way to start.