The Storm Lake City Council held a work session this week to revisit proposed plans for the former dredge spoil site on the southeast side of town, which they City hopes to develop into a nature recreation area.
The plan is expected to cost approximately 6.9-million dollars. The engineering plan shows the potential for features such as soccer fields, along with tennis and pickle ball courts, gravel hiking trails, and a nature learning center. Mayor Mike Porsch pointed out that some residents have requested a dog park for several years. A portion of the property near Lakeshore Drive/Highway 7 could be used for commercial development to help fund recreational development areas on the site.
Council member Maria Ramos likes the idea of the nature aspect of the plan…(audio clip below)
Mayor Porsch pointed out that much of the site isn’t appropriate for buildings or motor-vehicle traffic. He said due to the cost, the project would need to be done in phases, likely beginning with walking and bike trails, as well as a learning center. Council member Kevin McKinney agreed that the land should be kept as natural as possible for citizens to enjoy. City Manager Keri Navratil said an area close to Lakeshore Drive could be used for a recreation center, but a bond vote would be needed for constructing that feature.
A feasibility study was recently conducted by engineering firm Bolton and Menk to determine how to make the best use of the spoil site land. The City will research possible funding sources, and the council is expected to vote on the plan at their next meeting on December 5th.