By John McLoone
After two years of planning, the Hastings City Council cleared the way for the Lake Isabel Park Redevelopment project to get underway.
Because bids came in higher than expected, the council had to do a budget adjustment to include $172,513.50 in park dedication funds. The city has approximately $1 million in that fund.
The project is being funded with a total $225,000 in city funds on top of the park dedication funds. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resource also has earmarked a $240,000 grant to the project. The Hastings East Side Homeowners Association is also contributing $25,000 for the park redevelopment.
The total bid contract with a 10 percent contingency fund is $511,847.49, and there is $133,966.01 also that the city will be contracting for. Total project cost is estimated at $662,513.50.
There are some things in the redevelopment that are still being finetuned. The homeowner’s association would like to see one trail removed because it isn’t necessary and money added in to make a full basketball court, where there is a halfcourt. Wietecha urged the council, however, to pass the project as presented so the contractor bid is secured, and let staff work with the contractor and the DNR on any possible “tweaks.”
The project was initial bid early this year, and prices came in significantly higher than the city expected. Alterations were made, and the project was bid again in June.
“We made some modifications to the plan and got those modifications approved by the DNR, and that’s important” said Wietecha. “An approved DNR grant has a time limit for completion of June 30 next year. If we continue trying to go back and get better prices, we risk losing those grant dollars. Let’s go forward with the project. Let’s accept the design of the project.: The council unanimously approved the project and necessary budget amendments.
“It’s an expensive project,” said Wietecha. “It’s more than we anticipated when we went into the DNR grant application. It’s still a good project.”
Lake Isabel Park is located near downtown. It was last updated more than two decades ago.
New amenities will include the basketball court, walkways, seating areas, native plantings, playground equipment and a picnic shelter.
The rehabilitation of Lake Isabel Park will include new plantings, a new basketball court, trails and benches. Drawing courtesy of City of Hastings