While the city of St. Michael works to design a new Town Center park, the city of Albertville has been working on a plan to breathe new life into its own Central Park.
Albertville’s city administrator, Adam Nafstad, said the Central Park improvement idea has been a topic at city council and park meetings for some time now, and late last month the city’s park committee laid out their proposed Central Park improvement plan.
The priority list begins with adding space to the park by acquiring an adjoining piece of property owned by the Barthel family.
In a memo to council, the city’s park consulting group, Northwest Associated Consultants, explained this goal was top priority because all other park improvements are influenced by this property acquisition. They also have a willing seller.
Next up on the priority list includes the realignment and improvement of 58th St. NE., which establishes the park’s southern boundary, and would add parking spaces, an internal trail system and expanded paved area near the pavilion, and upgrading the pavilion to match the architectural finishes of the new Depot.
Family Fun Items: Playground Equipment and Splash Pad
While Central Park’s play equipment may give today’s parents a healthy dose of nostalgia, the aging equipment is slated for either supplementation or replacement, but Nafstad said those details have not yet been worked out since replacing the play equipment lands near the bottom of the park committee’s priority list, at number eight of 10 priorities.
Nafstad said the play equipment at the park has a lot of history, and he said he knows many people who don’t want some of that equipment torn down.
“There’s a contingency that says it’s time for new equipment, and there’s a contingency that says this is great, I grew up on it,” he said. “People like that equipment, generally, from my seat.”
A small splash pad or water feature is another listed improvement that residents may find exciting. The committee placed this as priority number six on the list of desired improvements, saying it will be an expensive improvement and that placing it lower on the list gives the city time to research splash pad design, operations and cost.
For 2018, Nafstad said the city will focus on The Depot and cleaning up around that area to prepare for Friendly City Days and other summer events. Other than that, he said there is not a solid timeline for other improvements yet. North Wright County Today will provide updates on the proposed improvements when they become available.
“We have a master park plan for Central Park, and now we’re focusing on the park elements that surround the areas where we have Friendly City Days and the Farmer’s Market and our new Depot,” Nafstad said. “Right now we’re in the process of figuring out how much these other improvements cost.”
Westwind Park Comes First
In other Albertville park news, Nafstad said they received a $150,000 matching grant to update the town’s Westwind Park, which is located in a residential neighborhood off Kalland Drive. It will receive new playground equipment, gazebo with a pavilion, a grassy area and a boardwalk through a wetland. That project will be completed this year.