The City of Crystal is considering 4 storm water projects in Section 1, including Brownwood, Gaulke, Hagemeister, and Memory ponds. Here is an introductory video of the Brownwood project from Mark Ray, Public Works Director:

Letters have been or are being sent to residents around these ponds, most recently Brownwood. Director Ray has been gathering information and comments and the council discussed the project at a work session on Jan. 19 (item begins at the 12:20 mark).

Based on Director Ray’s presentation at the Jan. 19 city council work session (which included historic photos from neighbors of past flood events), the council asked about cost and effectiveness. We were disappointed to learn that even if all 4 pond projects were done, it would only lower the flood elevation level by less than one foot. A big concern is that even with maximizing water storage, pumping more water away and about $4 million dollars spent on all 4 projects, that flooding could still occur.

One project appears to have majority support (because of pump deterioration, contamination and public safety) is for Gaulke Pond. There are multiple agencies that are involved with all projects (including the DNR, Army Corps of Engineers, watershed districts, etc.), and the council (4-3 count) wants to wait a month to gather information by these agencies as well as continue discussion with residents.

You can email mark.ray@crystalmn.gov with your comments. The project is under consideration and no decisions have been made.

I am hearing from residents who are for, neutral and against the Brownwood project. In a month after more information is gathered, the city council will review and the city will be scheduling a public hearing/listening session to get more feedback. As always, I welcome your input as a resident around these ponds and you can contact me here.