ST. JOSEPH -- A public meeting was held in St. Joseph Wednesday night to unveil and discuss possible plans for Kraemer Lake-Wildwood Park.

The plans include improving roads and trails, a parking lot, a picnic shelter as well as utilizing the shoreline with boat access and establishing a swimming beach.

Many residents on or near the lake attended the public meeting held at Kennedy Elementary School south of St. Joseph.

"We'd like to hear what the residents have to say," says Sean Gaetz of the Stearns County Parks Commission. "It's ultimately going to be their park, so we're definitely looking for some quality input."

Gaetz says the thoughts and concerns expressed by those in attendance will be taken into account before their next meeting in either March or April.

Many of the residents at the meeting voiced their concerns about the possibility of motorized boats being used on the lake.

"It was a very thorough and thought-out presentation," says Duane, a resident of St. Wendell Township. "But originally, that park was set out to be just a cross country ski trail, then a hiking trail -- and now they want to put up a whole facility, almost like a state park."

"The lake is not suited for all that activity, it's just not good for the community or for the people who live around that lake."

"To be honest, I agree with a lot of the [ideas]," says Brian Poepping, who lives on the lake. "The one main concern is the motorized access and the swimming area, I just don't want to deteriorate any of the natural resources on the lake."

"If they can prove and show that won't happen, I would definitely listen to it but at this point we need to look at what's best for the lake."

Gaetz says they hope to have enough input to have a master plan in place by this summer, with work starting on the park in 2017 at the earliest.

Kraemer Lake Plan 1. (Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON)
Kraemer Lake Plan 2. (Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON)