It began with a CSC focus only, but scope of session has since grown

    It was initially envisioned by the Crookston Park Board as a public brainstorming session primarily focused on more programs or amenities that could potentially be added to Crookston Sports Center. But City Administrator Shannon Stassen says the scope of the session, which is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in UMN Crookston’s Bede Ballroom, has expanded, and will also include Parks & Recreation facilities and resources throughout the community.

    “We can assess where we are, and where we’d like to be,” Stassen said at this week’s Crookston City Council Ways & Means Committee meeting. “There are so many possibilities to talk about. We started with this just being about Crookston Sports Center, but it’s bigger than that.”

    At Large Council Member Tom Vedbraaten wondered how many people would be willing to put in the time and effort to discuss recreational facilities and amenities and programs they’d like to see at CSC and elsewhere in town when the response more often than not lacks actual action because of a lack of funding. “When there’s no plan to finance it and no money, people get mad, wondering why they put in the time,” Vedbraaten said.

    Stassen acknowledged that money is “absolutely part of the process.” But, he added, it’s not like everything that will be discussed on Oct. 23 would be added in 2020. Some larger-scope items would likely take several years of planning, financial and otherwise, before anything would come to fruition.

    “There are some people that are already angry, thinking the City doesn’t do anything,” Stassen added. “But if a lot of people in the community want to see something done, then we should probably look at it.”

    Ward 1 Council Member Jake Fee said the discussion should include expanded efforts on the City’s part to pursue grant funding opportunities that are available for parks and recreation amenities.

    “We need to be asking for more money,” Fee said. “All they can say is no.”