FAIRMONT — City Engineer Troy Nemmers shared with the Fairmont Park Board of Trustees some early drafts of the proposed Gomsrud Park redevelopment during its meeting on Tuesday evening. Nemmers noted that during the recent Fairmont City Council business session, he indicated he wanted to include the Sylvania Park Bandshell roof and the Gomsrud Park redevelopment project in the 2023 budget.
“SGA, who we hired to do this, they are landscape architects and urban planners, came up with four themes,” Nemmer said.
The aim of the project is to carry out work on the parking lot and landing stage of Gomsrud Park. While construction is underway, city staff thought it would be a good time to reinvent the park and add new features.
On Tuesday, the Park Board shared its thoughts on some of the concepts.
Board member Randy Lubenow said he wanted to know the cost of moving the boat docks from northwest to northeast.
“If we can figure that out, other pieces come into play,” said Lubenow.
Several other board members expressed support for the idea. Nemmers said to do this they would need to dredge the channel, but could look at the cost.
“A concern I have, the amount of money we’re going to spend, it’s absolutely imperative that we get it right,” said board member Craig Nelson.
He also expressed concerns about some of the concepts and where they have the parking lots in relation to the restrooms.
“I thought one of the concepts was to not have a parking lot where this current parking lot is to the northwest,” said Lubenow.
Nemmers said it’s downsized, but none of the concepts have parking there. He said changes could be made to one of the concepts, however.
The council shared their safety concerns with children going through areas heavily congested with traffic and trailers. He considered the possibility of moving the toilet.
“There is absolutely no way to move the bathrooms?” Without devoting most of the budget to it? asked board member Jodie Whitmore.
Nemmers said they would probably not be moved, but rebuilt.
“If you’re going to spend $150,000 dredging the lake, you could spend $150,000 rebuilding the bathrooms,” Nemmer said.
Parks and Streets Superintendent Nick Lardy said the bathrooms were in poor condition.
Nemmers said based on the Park Board’s conversation, he may refine some of the concepts before a public comment meeting, which will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Aug. 25 at the SMEC building in Fairmont.
Moving on to other questions, Community Education and Recreation Director Stephanie Busiahn said this was the last week of the park’s playground program. She said this is also the last week of having their summer intern, who came to them through the County/Minnesota Valley Action Council internship program. However, Busiahn said he recently hired another staff member.
“He will help us in the office part-time and he will also help us with some youth enrichment.
This is where his passions lie. It brings fun new youth programming to our community,” Busiahn said.
She said flag football would start on September 6 and take place on the football pitches on Monday and Tuesday nights.
“I was approving our fall catalog. We hope to get it to the printer… and to the mailboxes the first part of September,” said Busiahn.
The catalog will include programming that runs from September to December. However, Busiahn said that at this point, rather than posting a spring brochure, they could send out a postcard instead, which would encourage people to check out the online store.
“Ninety-nine point nine percent of registrations come to us through our online store,” Busiahn explained.