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Are there too many banks in Champlin or too few retail and commercial businesses?The City of Champlin staff and its residents have all questioned whether the community has too many banks. But the real question isn’t whether we have too many, but instead do we have too few retail and commercial businesses? 

Financial institutions compared: Champlin and surrounding communities
Deputy City Administrator John Cox and staff recently examined the number of financial institutions in neighboring cities and determined Champlin, in comparison, had a slightly higher number of financial institutions per capita. 

Champlin currently has 23,500 residents and seven banks, which equals 3,357 residents per bank, for example. In comparison, Anoka has 17,500 residents and seven banks or 2,500 residents per bank. (Click here to view a comparison of banks in Champlin to banks in surrounding communities, prepared by the City of Champlin)

“Unlike our neighbors, Champlin has only one major commercial district, which is situated along the highway [169] corridor,” said Cox. “All of our banks are located along this corridor and in close proximity, [and] I believe this situation feeds the perception.”

Local market research
A better comparison would show each of those cities and their number of banks—and retail and commercial businesses—in relation to Champlin’s. How many restaurants and retail businesses are located in Anoka, for example, in comparison to Champlin? Instead of approving more banks, the City might first consider attracting other businesses.   

“I suspect you’re correct that we have some business categories, in comparison, with a lesser presence,” said Cox.

To provide an accurate view, Cox is investigating market research that examines local consumer supply and demand.  “While we’re examining the market in one-, three- and five- mile concentric rings, our focus has been on the one-mile market, which best represents Champlin resident demand.”

Two more banks
The City of Champlin is currently aware of two financial institutions considering new facilities in Champlin.  One is Financial One Credit Union, which is interested in relocating from their existing building behind the Super Wash on 123rd Avenue and Ensign Avenue. The other financial institution is an unidentified national bank, according to Cox.

For more information, contact Cox at jcox@ci.champlin.mn.us or 763-923-7104.

Champlin residents: What do you think?
Does Champlin need more banks? What are your suggestions and opinions? Post them in the comments.

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Friendly Knitters of Champlin meet at Dunn BrothersDrink coffee, chit-chat and be creative: That’s what the Friendly Champlin Knitters do every week.

“We knit at the Dunn Bros. Coffee Shop in Champlin on Friday mornings from about 9 a.m. until noon,” said Cathy, a Friendly Knitter.
“Anyone is invited, and there are all skill levels from knitting instructors to beginners.”

Visit their blog at http://champlin-knitters.blogspot.com/ to view photos of their work—A Duckie Blankie knitted during the Friendly Knitters Club in Champlin, MN from knitted socks and shawls to blankets—and stop by this Friday between 9 a.m. and noon to admire their work, and of course drink a cappuccino!

Made with rum, vodka, orange juice and cream, an orange whip is a sweet cocktail that packs a punch. But, does the cover band Orange Whip also “pack the one-two punch” it professes to offer? Champlin will soon find out.

Orange Whip, a Twin Cities-based cover band, has a ten-year history and more than 400 gigs under their guitar straps. Their song list includes everything from Louis Armstrong and Guns N’ Roses to Dolly Parton!


          Watch cover band Orange Whip perform “Word Up” by Cameo.

The band performs on Friday, June 13 in the Father Hennepin Festival main tent beginning at 8 p.m. and there is a $5 cover charge. The event is 21 years of age and older only.

For more information

Kai Salon, an Aveda concept salon, opened yesterday in Champlin. And, I wondered 1). What does KAI mean and 2). What is a concept salon? One phone call later, I have answers and even less pride!

Before I called the salon, I googled “acronym machine” and found the Bile Machine a name-calling acronym generator web site. I typed KAI, clicked Process, and it  called me a Knucklehead Abhorrent Interposer. I might be a knucklehead, but I’m not an abhorrent interposer, and I doubt that’s what the salon intends! Next, on to Wikepedia. Kai could mean the supreme religious leader of the Bajoran faith on Star Trek (nerd alert), the word for “food” in the Maori language, a German communist or a type of throat singing.

   Watch a video of a man performing Kai, a type of throat singing

Laura Pardo, owner, said Kai (pronounce the letters: K-I) means ocean in Hawaiian and something like “keeper of the Earth” in Scandinavian. ”I did not choose it for any of those reasons,” she said. “I just loved the name and felt inspired by it.”

And, what does “concept salon” mean—just a fancy way to say salon (I am a knucklehead)? “Uh, yup, that’s a good way to put it,” laughed Charlie who works at Kai Salon. “It’s a salon.”

Services include everything from foils and special-occasion up-dos to manicures, and the salon isn’t just for women. Men’s services start at just $27 for a cut. It’s open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Sundays.

Kai Salon is located at 12162 Business Park Boulevard in Champlin, call 763-421-2999, or visit http://www.kaisalon.com. If you stop by to demonstrate Kai throat singing, Charlie says he’ll give you a coupon for 20 percent off salon services, and tell him the Knucklehead Abhorrent Interposer sent you (only joking!).

Foreclosure signNews of home foreclosures across the nation and the state is everywhere. Recently StarTribune featured a three-part serieson Champlin’s neighboring Wright County and its 23-per-week foreclosure rate. Foreclosures are happening everywhere—including Champlin.

Foreclosed properties in Champlin

Visit Hennepin County Sheriff’s Foreclosures web site ,  Select Search by Address, and type “Champlin” in the City field. Select Search Records. This will show you one year’s worth of foreclosures in Champlin, by address. As of May 13, 2008, there are 129 Champlin homes in foreclosure.

Important facts

If there is a foreclosed or vacant property in your neighborhood, it’s important for you to know some facts. 

Redemption period

Once a property is in foreclosure, the usual redemption period is six months. During this time, the property is “on hold” until the owner chooses to redeem it or not. Once the outcome is secured, the (new) owner or controlling mortgage company can move forward.

If a property becomes a nuisance during the redemption period or requires emergency maintenance, the mortgage company or owner may enter the property to address the situation to reduce its future financial loss. An emergency situation could be water damage caused by ruptured pipes or an unsecured, open-to-trespass property. 

During this time, the owner can lease or rent the property if they have a City of Champlin rental license. 

What you can do

Be a good neighbor and keep an eye on the homes in your neighborhood. If you see suspicious activity in a foreclosed or vacant home, call 9-1-1 to report the address of the home as well as the activity. 

For more information, contact the City of Champlin’s Code Enforcement Officer Diane Jones at  or 763-923-7196. 

Resources and local articles

Champlin Mill Pond, located on the northeast corner of Highway 169 and Hayden Lake Road in Champlin, Minnesota, has been managed as a Kid’s Fishing Pond since 1976.

A fishing pier and accessible shoreline are available to anglers. Additional park amenities include a pavilion, picnic tables, benches, grills and trail system.

More Information

Champlin Mill Pond in spring located in Champlin, MN

 Mill Pond in spring (Photo by Laurenceio)

Champlin Mill Pond in winter located in Champlin, MN

Mill Pond in winter (photo by MN Dusty Lens)

You only have a few days to plan. Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 11. Wondering what to do? Why not try something local?

Buy Mom a plant, maybe a few plants, and get yourself some too!
Champlin Garden Club is having its annual plant sale in the American Legion parking lot beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 10. Perennials, herbs, house plants, garden art and potted plants from member’s gardens will be available to purchase—rain or shine.

The Champlin Garden Club (CGC) is a group of gardeners, novice to expert, who gather monthly to hear presentations on relevant topics, participate in activities and share ideas.

In addition to the regular programs the CGC contributes to the community by maintaining the gardens at Doris Kemp Park in Champlin and providing decorated Christmas trees to the City of Champlin City Hall and Parks department during the holidays. Each May the club sponsors a plant sale at the Champlin Legion Hall. Proceeds from this event provide scholarships for both high school and vocational students.

The club meets at the Champlin Parks and Recreation Building the second Monday of each month at 6:45. All visitors are welcome. For more information contact Carrie Johnson at 421-8116 or Jody Anderson at 427-8894

Breakfast at Champlin’s American Legion
First let Mom sleep in, and then take her out for Mother’s Day Omelet Breakfast at the American Legion. And, the bonus: every mom gets a fresh flower. For more information, call 763-427-6870.

Surprise her with breakfast in bed
Stop in at Drowsy Owl Bookshop and buy Mom a gift certificate and a book about why moms are special. On Sunday morning, before she wakes up, go to Champlin’s Caribou Coffee and buy her coffee drink of choice and a muffin or scone. Surprise Mom with breakfast in bed with a book, for some uninterrupted reading (hint to my kids: this is my choice!).

Pack a picnic and ride or walk through Elm Creek Park
Buy a sample of deli items from Champlin’s Cub Foods and pack a picnic lunch. Take mom on a bike ride or walk through Elm Creek Park and stop to enjoy the picnic. Don’t forget to pack a Mother’s Day card too and give it to her after you finish eating.

Have more ideas? Post them in the comments.