By Bob Zimmerman
An 85 foot long fishing pier was installed just west of the Maple Lake Public Beach last week, creating access to the lake for anglers interested in trying their luck, and anyone else who might want to do some bird watching or just enjoy being on the water. A hard surface walkway and handicapped parking space will be added in the near future to complete the project, which was a cooperative effort involving the City of Maple Lake, the Maple Lake Lions Club, MP Nexlevel, the Maple Lake Property Owners Association, and the Minnesota DNR.
Mayor Lynn Kissock commented “I’m glad the Lions continued the pursuit of the pier. Thanks to the Lions, the Lake Association, MP, and especially the city public works staff for the hard work putting it together. I’m glad to have this amenity, which is accessible to all.”
Current Lion President Steve Mooney said “it’s there to benefit our community.”
The “new to Maple Lake” pier became available from the Minnesota DNR last fall, when Sauk Center replaced their pier with a new structure. Maple Lake agreed to transport and refurbish the old pier for use in our community. MP Nexlevel donated the transportation, sending one of their semi trucks to Sauk Center last January to haul the pier to its new hometown, and also provided welding repairs to the metal framework.
The Lions Club donated $4,000 and the Maple Lake Property Owners Association contributed $1,500 towards the $9,000 of lumber and hardware needed to upgrade the structure. Public Works employees Jerry Sawatzke, Al Hudek, Kenny Elsenpeter, and Andrew Johnson worked on the pier as time allowed during the winter and spring to strip the old wood from the sections and replace it with new lumber. The city crew, including summer worker Tim Hudek, spent three days assembling and installing the pier, finishing the job on May 16.
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