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Stearns County, Paynesville Township each promise $25K to Veterans Park project

PAYNESVILLE -- Thanks to enthusiastic local support, Lake Koronis will have a shelter at Veterans Park by the end of the summer.

Mayor Jeff Thompson said that the Paynesville City Council is going through with the Veterans Park shelter project this summer after gaining some generous financial assistance from Paynesville Township and Stearns County. After speaking with Paynesville Township and Stearns County about the project idea, Thompson said, both entities supported the construction and promised to chip in $25,000 each.

"We were rather pleased on both ends," Thompson said Thursday in an interview with the Tribune.

"And it kind of continues to keep the door open for working together on other projects, too."

Paynesville would not be going forward with the project without the help from the township and Stearns County.

"It's the kind of thing that if we don't get the financial support from (Stearns) County and Paynesville Township, we probably will not do," Thompson said in early April.

The city opened bids on the project in March and all of them were less than the city's project estimate of $150,000.

Since the lowest bid came from a local contractor, Thompson said in April, the project could be "a nice, little mini-stimulus package within the community."

Thompson said construction at the site started sometime this weekend. He said the city had applied and received the construction permits in early April. According to the city's meeting agenda for Wednesday, the project will be discussed under "old business."

Depending on weather and good fortune, Thompson said the shelter should be finished soon enough for lake-goers to use the facility this summer.

"We've been trying to do this project for a number of years, trying to get assistance from the Department of Natural Resources through a grant program. But we didn't meet the criteria," Thompson said.

"We had been putting money aside for the project ... and now we can put up a nice service or facility that everybody around here can use."