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City seeking additional funding for Red Bridge parking

Park Rapids has received a grant that will partially fund a parking lot for Red Bridge Park but is now seeking matching funds for the project.­ (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Park Rapids has received a Federal Recreational Grant for $68,932 to construct a parking lot at Red Bridge Park but is still seeking state funding to offset a local match.

City planner Dan Walker gave an update on the project at last week's City Council meeting.

The city purchased a vacant lot adjacent to Red Bridge Park in early 2011 for future construction of a parking lot. City staff also applied for a state Legacy Trails Grant but was not awarded funding.

City planner Dan Walker said the city could apply for a Local Trail Connections Program Grant for the remaining $68,932.50 match for construction. The project is identified in the Capital Improvement Plan for construction in 2013 in conjunction with a scheduled trunk line utility project in the same area.

The federal grant requires construction to be completed by June 30, 2013.

Walker said if the city is unsuccessful in obtaining the Local Trail Connections Program funding it could try again for a Legacy Trails Grant in the fall.

Legacy funding is competitive. The state received 90 submissions for Legacy funding last year and 30 projects were awarded, Walker said.

The council also heard an update on the replacement of the Red Bridge.

The Department of Natural Resources is working on a design for replacing the bridge in the near future.

In other business, the council:

n Approved a variance for a sign for the Salvage Depot for 246 feet, which is larger than permitted in a B-1 Highway Business District.

The council determined the building's location is unique and warrants the larger sign for visibility from the highway.

n Approved a Conditional Use Permit for the Red Bridge Inn bed and breakfast that has new owners.

n Approved the first draft of an ordinance amending the Park Rapids City Code of Ordinances about screening and fencing.

n Approved spending $500 to help the Downtown Business Association purchase flowers for Main Avenue. This was part of the 2012 budget.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561