Coon Rapids Dam

Coon Rapids, Minnesota

Coon Rapids is a city in Anoka County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 61,607 at the 2000 census, making it the ninth largest city in Minnesota and the fifth largest Twin Cities suburb. Coon Rapids is a northern suburb of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

History

Originally founded as a part of Anoka Township in 1857, Coon Rapids became a separate village in 1952. In 1959, it became a city. It retains its original boundaries, except for the part that became the City of Anoka.

The name "Coon Rapids" comes from "Coon Creek Rapids", a turbulent part of the Upper Mississippi River near the mouth of Coon Creek. These rapids were removed as a consequence of the construction of the Coon Rapids Dam in 1913. The Dam operated as a hydroelectric generator until 1966 when it was closed and later opened to the public as the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park in 1978. The dam marks the head of navigation on the Upper Mississippi River waterway

The name "Coon Rapids" has come under controversy as of late. Although it was named after the raccoons that were often found in the former rapids of Coon Creek, some believe that the name has a negative connotation. Coon Rapids' logo was originally of a raccoon, and was changed to an oak leaf. In 2007 the logo was changed back to a raccoon in response to a proposal that passed with a 4-3 vote and overwhelming support of its citizens. A name change proposal, however, has failed several times in City Council. Since 1967, Coon Rapids has been the home of the main campus of Anoka-Ramsey Community College.

Government

The city has a council-manager form of government, and its current mayor is Tim Howe. While mayoral and councilmember elections in Coon Rapids are nonpartisan, Howe has been endorsed by the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

As of the 2002 redistricting, Coon Rapids is represented in the State House by districts 47A (Denise Dittrich, Democrat), 47B (Melissa Hortman, Democrat), and 49B (Kathy Tingelstad, Republican); and in the State Senate by districts 47 (Leo Foley, Democrat) and 49 (Debbie Johnson, Republican).

Coon Rapids is located partially in Minnesota's 3rd congressional district, represented by Jim Ramstad, a Republican, and partially in Minnesota's 6th congressional district, represented by Michele Bachmann, also a Republican.

Mayors

Since its incorporation as a city in 1952, Coon Rapids, Minnesota has had 14 mayors:

  • Joe Nelson (1952-1953)
  • Glenn Haven (1954-1955)
  • Leslie B. Mason (1956-1958)
  • Irving Nelson (1958-1959)
  • Joe Craig (1960-1967)
  • Robert Voss (1968-1971)
  • Donald Erlandson (1972-1975)
  • George White (1976-1979)
  • David S. McCauley (1980-1981)
  • Robert B. Lewis (1982-1989)
  • Richard S. Reiter (1990-1991)
  • William F. Thompson (1992-1998)
  • Ilona McCauley (1999-2002)
  • Tim Howe (2003-present)
  • Mayor Howe was elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. The next election will take place in 2010.

    Geography

    According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.3 square miles (60.5 km²), of which, 22.7 square miles (58.7 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.7 km²) of it (2.87%) is water. Recreational lakes in the city include Cenaiko Lake and Crooked Lake, two-thirds of which is in Coon Rapids. The other third is in the City of Andover, immediately to the north.

    Demographics

    As of the census of 2000, there were 61,607 people, 22,578 households, and 16,572 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,718.1 people per square mile (1,049.5/km²). There were 22,828 housing units at an average density of 1,007.2/sq mi (388.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.22% White, 2.18% African American, 0.67% Native American, 1.60% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 1.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.51% of the population.

    There were 22,578 households out of which 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.6% were non-families. 20.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.15.

    In the city the population was spread out with 28.7% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 33.3% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 7.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.

    The median income for a household in the city was $55,550, and the median income for a family was $62,260. Males had a median income of $41,195 versus $30,277 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,915. About 3.6% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.

    Recreation

    The water level of the Mississippi River upstream from the Coon Rapids Dam is raised during the summer months to allow its use as a six mile recreational pool. Anoka Ramsey Community College has an active theater department, and the Coon Rapids High School hosts musicals, concerts, and pageants. Numerous community events are scheduled at the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, including a summer concert series. The Cook Ice Arena (where one scene of the Mighty Ducks movie was filmed) sees much activity year round. A steadily expanding trail system attracts bikers and walkers alike. In 2007, a section extending north from the old city hall was added, and in 2008 a tunnel under the railroads tracks connected Hoover Elementary School with Rockslide Park. Sand Creek Park is the site of Independence Day fireworks, skateboarding competitions, softball, and other community events. Numerous sliding hills dot the city for free winter fun, and there are several dozen playgrounds found in schools and neighborhoods. Cheap Skate (indoor skating rink), Lilliput (mini-golf, bumper boats, and Go-Karts), and Grand Slam (batting cages, laser tag, video arcade, other activities) offer fun for mostly the younger crowd. Bunker Hills Park is the site of the world famous Bunker Hills Golf Course, which previously hosted the Senior PGA tour, and the Bunker Beach Water Park. The only Bennigan's restaurant in Minnesota is located in the Riverdale commercial development area. A community center is planned in the former shopping area east of Anoka Ramsey Community College.

    The Coon Rapids National Little League baseball team won the Midwest Regional Title in 2007, and went to the 2007 Little League World Series. The team was knocked out of the pool round of competition.

    Transportation

    While commercial traffic on the Mississippi River once passed through Coon Rapids - steamboats could reach as far as St. Cloud under certain conditions - the construction of the dam marked the city as the northern terminus of the navigable portion of the river.

    U.S. Route 10 and Minnesota State Highways 47 and 610 are three of the main arterial routes in the city.

    The city will have one of the first six stations of the Northstar Corridor commuter rail line connecting the northwest suburbs and downtown Minneapolis; the line is set for completion in 2009.

    Notable citizens and natives

    References

    External links

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