NEW ULM - The Park and Rec Commission on Monday unanimously approved funding for the Minnecon Park Water Access Site improvement project.
The project went to MR Paving for $223,041. Commissioners also authorized using the department's fund balance reserves to pay Bolton & Menk approximately $29,600 for professional construction services and $42,297 to MR Paving for parking lot paving.
The Commission had the option of approving a motion without the parking lot paving. Acting Chair Ken RockVam said that common sense suggested the parking space above the access site be paved.
Commissioner Kara Carlson asked if the paving would help with erosion. Park and Rec Director Tom Schmitz said the proposed asphalt parking lot would prevent pooling of water and prevent further flood damage to the site.
The City Council will decide on final approval of the project during its Aug. 19 meeting.
The Park and Rec Department agreed to a cooperative agreement with New Ulm Baseball Association (NUBA) to create a Master Plan for Johnson Park, which turned 75 years old this year.
Schmitz said the park is still going strong and is used heavily. The restrooms and accessibility are non-code-compliant, and other improvement ideas have been suggested. NUBA requested the plan be created before any work is done. NUBA has some funds available and will assist with the project.
Carlson asked if the ballpark would be eligible for historic registration.
Schmitz said that the study for the Master Plan would include research into the park's historic significance. The Park was created by the Works Progress Administration.
Flowers at the German
Joel Albrecht requested authorization to place flower planters in the German Street right-of-way at the German Bohemian Monument in German Park. The proposed planters would be placed on the northwest corner and southwest corner of the Monument area and would not obstruct any sidewalks or roads.
Schmitz explained that, technically, the city right-of-way on German Street extends beyond the sidewalk to the lines of bushes in the park area. Authorization from the City Council is needed before the planters could be installed. The cost of the flower planters would be donated and maintenance issues should be minimal.
Albrecht and a few others would donate funds for the planters, but their exact design is currently unknown.
"Right now we're trying to get it started so we can move forward and get rid of the weeds and have something that looks good for Oktoberfest," Albrecht said.
The commission approved the recommendation to allow flower planters in the right-of-way.