Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Feb. 5, 2001

Open house gathers comments on HL's future

By Lynda Jensen

About three dozen people braved the weather conditions after last Monday's ice storm to attend the city of Howard Lake's open house Tuesday.

"There weren't hundreds, but it went well," commented Mayor Gerry Smith.

Administrator Doug Borglund echoed this sentiment, saying that it went pretty well, especially considering the weather.

Several of the attendees seemed to be from Victor Township, south of town, said Senior Planner Scott Richards from Northwest Associated Consultants, Minneapolis.

Richards is being contracted by the city to come up with a comprehensive plan for the city's development, which will affect the area townships.

The open house is one step in many that Richards plans to make toward formulating the plan.

At the open house, Richards passed out a questionnaire for people to fill out about what they like about Howard Lake.

These forms are still available and may be obtained by calling the city hall at (320) 543-3670. The city will accept completed forms for the next few months, Richards said.

Two strong points for Howard Lake, its quality of life and friendly people were identified, Richards said.

Dislikes included areas that appeared to be poorly maintained in the city, the lack of a retail business base, and a request for more community cooperation, Richards said.

The request for more community cooperation came from a respondent, who wanted local organizations, to become more involved in the community.

When asked how Howard Lake could be made a better place to live, some answers included broadening its age base of city residents. Another resident mentioned that the city should better utilize the lake, Richards said.

Respondents also indicated that they liked the cable updates, especially the live shots of the highway and community events. This is available on the Web site:

A respondent asked for the day trippers to the Twin Cities through community education be expanded.

There was also a call for an orderly annexation plan, Richards said.

The comprehensive development plan will address that issue.

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