Parks wireless plan advances, golf fees hiked

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February 2, 2004 // UPDATED 2:47 pm - April 24, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

A Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Commissioner who criticized the board majority's decision to hire interim superintendent Jon Gurban will head the next superintendent search.

Board President Jon Olson appointed a five-member committee to restart the search. John Erwin will chair the committee. The other members are Commissioners Annie Young, Carol Kummer, Marie Hauser and Walt Dziedzic. The committee will meet the third Wednesday of the month.

The board had a bitter 5-4 split Dec. 17 when voting to give Gurban a one-year contract. Dziedzic nominated Gurban after the board's top two candidates withdrew earlier that month. Gurban did not apply, nor did he formally interview for the job.

The four Commissioners voting no, including Erwin and Young, said they got no advance notice that Gurban would be nominated.

Dziedzic, Kummer and Hauser voted for Gurban.

In other park news:

- Plans to build a new marina at the board's new riverfront headquarters, 2117 W. River Road N., took a step backwards. The board requested marina plans and received one proposal, but it did not meet the board's minimum requirements, Assistant Superintendent Judd Rietkerk said.

Financier and boat magnate Irwin Jacobs had expressed initial interest but did not submit a plan, Rietkerk said. The board's 2004 legislative agenda includes a request to borrow money to build the marina. Rietkerk will report to the board in early February to seek direction.

Assistant Superintendent Don Siggelkow said SkipperLiner, a LaCrosse-based company, is interested in the marina. SkipperLiner is negotiating with the Park Board to run excursion and charter boats on the Mississippi River.

- The board received two wireless Internet plans in response a separate proposal request -- but only one met minimum requirements, Siggelkow said. The board is offering a wireless service the use of park buildings to site its antennae in return for profit sharing.

The viable proposal could net the Park Board 15 percent of revenue, and a minimum of $100,000, Sigglekow said. He would not release the company's name, saying negotiations are ongoing.

- A key Park Board committee approved a $1-per-round hike at Park Board's five golf courses, an approximately 4 percent increase. It raises the cost of a weekday round to $26 and a weekend round to $28, not counting any promotional discounts.

If the number of rounds stays unchanged, the Park Board would increase golf revenue by $250,000 in 2004, he said.