By Joe Bachman
As summer approaches, phase one of the riverbank upgrades may see some construction as early as this year.
Phase one includes Demitz Park, which is comprised mostly of the trail upgrade and connection to Veterans Park, as well as new and updated restrooms, shelter, fishing pier, site grading, restrooms, and addressing bank erosion concerns.
The east riverbank will see a recreation flat, as well as an area for kayak launch. Legion park will see an added picnic grove to the area, which has already allocated $25,000 in funding for the project that will not see the city spend any additional money on the project.
The city was awarded a stewardship grant for $671, 239 for the entire four year project, which requires a match by the city. According to Mayor Zach Vruwink, the DNR recommended that the city apply for more grants.
“Monday we’re going to be submitting another round of applications to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for stewardship funding,” said Vruwink. “The DNR highly encouraged us on many occasions to apply, and are very excited about the project — a lot of these improvements are linked to economic development within the city and downtown, and this is a project that scored very high, and they expect it to score high again.”
Phase two of the project is slated for 2017/2018 and will see upgrades to Mead Rapids View Park, and Legion Park. Phase three in 2019 will see upgrades for Veterans Park.