White Bear Lake rethinks removal of cleats for public mooring

Mooring cleats were removed by Public Works on the city dock but later re-installed.

WHITE BEAR LAKE — The public can once again dock boats on the south side of the city's marina.

Mooring cleats that were removed from one of the docks have been reinstalled, much to the relief of boaters who frequent Commercial Bay to access businesses near the waterfront.

City Manager Ellen Hiniker said boats moored on the southernmost dock were making it difficult for boats on Tally's adjacent dock to maneuver. 

“The city docks run alongside the property line of the authorized dock usage area (ADUA),” Hiniker said. “It's been like that for decades. Johnson Boat Works did the same thing.”

The configuration, permitted by the White Bear Lake Conservation District, means boats tied to the city dock are in the ADUA of the adjacent property owner. After receiving complaints last month, the city decided to remove a dozen tie-up cleats along that side.

It should be added that there were still mooring cleats on the north side of the city's docks next to the VFW, so not all public mooring was eliminated.

There are also cleats on the end of each finger for public tie-up.

“Thinking we were helping solve a problem, we discovered that it probably caused more issues with unintended consequences,” Hiniker admitted. “Boaters started tying to cleats across the dock. So now we were concerned people would trip.”

She called Pat Igo, who manages the docks in front of Acqua. He had no problem with the tight spaces; nor did Tally's. So the cleats went back in before the Fourth of July weekend.

“Bottom line,” said Hiniker, “the lake is healthy, the water level is high and people are celebrating being in the Commercial Bay area. We want to provide the public opportunity to dock there. After talking to the marina owners, we think it's reasonable.”


Debra Neutkens

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