Request for Motor Power on Rogers Lake Denied
The Mendota Heights City Council cited enforcement issues and unanswered questions.
The Mendota Heights City Council denied adopting language last week to allow motorized boats on Rogers Lake.
Earlier this summer, the Rogers Lake Property Owners Association requested allowing electric-powered motor boats on the south side of Wagon Wheel Trail.
Tim Carlson, president of the Rogers Lake Property Owners Association, said he would be meeting with other association members to see if they want to still pursue the matter.
In collaboration with the association, city staff drew up language that would have amended the city’s ordinance to allow boats up to 18 feet long with motors up to 10 horse power. The boats would have been allowed to operate during park hours, and would be required to have oars onboard.
Enforcing those rules, however, would have been problematic.
“We are not really prepared to address the electric motors in large part because we do not have the capacity for enforcement,” said Mayor Sandra Krebsbach at the meeting.
The Mendota Heights Police Department could step in to help with enforcement, but they don’t have a boat.
Police Chief Mike Aschenbrener said that with any change of this nature, there are going to be predicted and unpredicted impacts, and the issue requires more study and research.
Council member Liz Petschel said that in addition to enforcement problems, the city is not equipped to manage the greater threat of invasive species.
She was also concerned that boat trailers could cause damage to Rogers Lake Park.
Both council members Mike Povolny and Petschel said they would be open to reconsidering the request once some of the outstanding questions have been addressed.
Council member Jack Vitelli was less receptive. “I think the lake is small enough to get around and to fish either from a canoe or a 12-foot boat with oars," said Vitelli. He cited potential impacts to the plant life, increased traffic, and water quality as unknowns. “It’s just not worth all the complications.”