Coon Rapids, Minnesota

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Coon Rapids is a northern suburb of Minneapolis, and is the largest city in Anoka County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 63,573 at the 2000 census, making it the ninth largest city in Minnesota and the fifth largest Twin Cities suburb.

Contents

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 of the city came under some controversy in January 2006. Although it was named after the raccoons that were often found in the former rapids of Coon Creek, City Councilman Joe Sidoti believed that the name had a negative connotation. A proposed name change suggested by the Councilman sparked an uproar among local citizens,[3] and the proposal was dropped.

Coon Rapids' logo was originally an image of a raccoon called Rocky Raccoon. In what was widely regarded as an unpopular decision, Mayor Ilona McCauley and the City Council changed this to an oak leaf in 2002. In response to overwhelming public pressure a 2007 proposal passed by a 4-3 vote in the City Council changing the logo back to a raccoon, though a less stylized and more realistic version.

Since 1967, Coon Rapids has hosted one of the two campuses of Anoka-Ramsey Community College. The other campus is in Cambridge, Minnesota.

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.

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