April 29, 2021
Dear Dellwood Residents,
You may have read or heard various statements regarding the proposed Lake Links Trail (LLT). Based upon what I have read and heard about the LLT, there is a lot of incomplete and / or inaccurate information being circulated. I’m sending this letter to state the facts from the City’s perspective, and to clarify the current position of the City of Dellwood.
For those unfamiliar with the proposed trail, the Lake Links Trail Association (no affiliation with the City of Dellwood) has been working toward its goal of completing a public trail around White Bear Lake. A portion of the LLT, as proposed, would run through Dellwood along Highway 244 (Dellwood Avenue). The proposed LLT would be constructed on portions of the MNDOT right of way as well as portions of the old abandoned railroad bed running parallel to Highway 244. Lake Links Trail Association has been working with various property owners along Highway 244 to secure commitments to allow the LLT to be constructed on portions of the old abandoned railroad bed which are privately owned. A state grant has been applied for by the Association, approved by the legislature, and $2.6 million is available to use for trail engineering and construction purposes by Dellwood. A 2018 cost estimate for the Dellwood portion of the LLT was $3.3 – $3.8 million.
To clarify, the City Officials and City Staff have not made any decisions regarding whether the LLT will be constructed or the route that the proposed trail would take. The City Officials and Staff are currently working to obtain information and looking at options regarding the proposed LLT. After sufficient information is obtained and evaluated, the City will schedule public meetings / forums to inform residents of available options and discuss the feasibility and desirability of constructing the LLT within Dellwood. There are many issues to consider regarding the proposed LLT, and no decisions will be made without first providing our residents with adequate opportunities to express their support for or opposition to the trail.
You may have also noticed some flagging / marking of the proposed route and / or brush clearing on the old railroad bed or along the Highway 244 right of way. The City did not approve this activity, and has not participated in the flagging or clearing efforts. Do not assume that this unauthorized activity is an indication of City support or approval of the proposed trail, or that the City has determined that the trail will be constructed along any specific route.
In conclusion, the evaluation of trail options in Dellwood is ongoing. The pros and cons of having a public trail in our community are currently being weighed by your City Staff, Planning Commission, and City Council. The City has not taken a position for or against the trail. We recognize that some residents support the concept of a trail while others are opposed. We are committed to evaluating the trail objectively and keeping an open mind regarding the benefits and drawbacks associated with the trail. No decisions will be made until our residents are provided with detailed information and given an opportunity to express their preferences. Please feel free to contact your City Staff and Officials to express any concerns that you may have and to express your support for, or opposition to the proposed trail. Thank you.