Committee seeks regional park status
WILLMAR -- A Willmar City Council committee is supporting a state application process to designate Robbins Island Park and five nearby smaller parks as a regional park complex. If the application is approved, the city would be eligible to apply f...
WILLMAR - A Willmar City Council committee is supporting a state application process to designate Robbins Island Park and five nearby smaller parks as a regional park complex. If the application is approved, the city would be eligible to apply for state park and trail funding.
The council’s Public Works/Safety Committee voted this week to approve the application process to seek state designation of what is being proposed as Robbins Island Park Complex. The parks in the proposed designation are Robbins Island, Flags of Honor, Hedin, Rau, Thompson and Sperry.
The committee’s approval of a resolution seeking state action will be considered by the council Monday night.
Committee member Audrey Nelsen said the Robbins Island Park Complex was proposed in the city’s park plan. She was referring to Willmar’s first comprehensive park system master plan that was accepted by the council in February. Supporters have said the plan will serve as a blueprint for future park system investments.
If the application is approved, the regional park designation would be given through the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trail Commission, according to Public Works Director Sean Christensen.
“We’ve put the entire application together,’’ Christensen said. “The last piece they need for the application process is this resolution by council.’’
He said the purpose of the application is to identify park facilities meeting very high standards for natural resource-based outdoor recreation.
Christensen said the designation will provide the opportunity to apply for regional parks and trails funding under the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution to support parks and trails by means of additional sales tax revenue.
The park application was approved after committee member Steve Ahmann arrived late toward the end of the Tuesday afternoon meeting. Prior to Ahmann’s arrival, Nelsen and committee Chairman Ron Christianson were the only two of four members present. Christianson said he called Ahmann, and Ahmann said he sent a text to Christianson.
Christianson also said he called committee member Andrew Plowman, who was absent, but did not talk to him, and no one else from the council was present to serve in his absence.
Christianson also called council member Jim Dokken to see if he could attend, but Dokken was busy and unable to attend.
Ahmann’s arrival provided the three of four members needed to vote on agenda items.
Before Ahmann arrived, Christianson said he and Nelsen only could discuss but could not vote on agenda items without a quorum. He said those items will be forwarded to the full council for action.
In other business:
* A request was presented, but no action taken, for final payment of $61,430.80 to Duininck Inc. for construction of the $2,405,881 sanitary sewer lift station on the MinnWest Technology Campus and Lakeland Drive sewer improvements project.
The city entered into a construction agreement with Duininck June 16, 2014, to construct the lift station and make additional sewer improvements on Lakeland Drive Northeast. The lift station was successfully started on Feb. 12, 2015, according to Paul Jurek, project engineer with design consultant Bollig Inc. of Willmar.
Christensen said the council will be asked to approve final payment contingent on completion of some minor items.
* The committee discussed accepting the $104,869 bid from Quam Construction of Willmar and awarding a contract to Quam for an improvement project at the Civic Center Drive stormwater pond located on the MinnWest Technology Campus.
The Quam bid was the lowest of six bids received by the city. Christensen said the engineer’s estimate was $149,167. He said funding for the project is included in the 2015 improvement projects. Christianson said it was nice to receive a few bids for the project.
* A request was discussed to pay $24,758 to Land Pride Construction of Paynesville for construction of an eight-inch water line for fire and water service to the Historic 313 Fourth Street building in downtown Willmar. The street and sidewalk were repaved after the water line was installed.