A two-year effort to create a signature park in the city of St. Michael took a giant step toward fruition Tuesday evening, when the city council approved funding for the park and awarded construction contracts to build the new Town Center Park this summer.
The $3.3 million park will include the following: a playground with some unique features, a splashpad, a large pavilion, six pickleball courts, and a building for bathrooms, changing areas, concessions and covered picnic tables. The park will be located on the campus of the city center/library/senior center building, and construction should be complete late fall of this year.
$1.8 million of the park’s total cost will come from a $6,685,000 bond sale, which the council also approved Tuesday evening.
The bond sale also includes funding for the 2020 road reconstruction project, affecting areas in the northeast and southwest areas of the city, and a refinancing of some debt from the 2009 library construction. Nick Anhut from Ehlers said the city received a “phenomenal” rate of 1.79 percent for the 20-year bond, which exceeded rate expectations from earlier this year and even from a few weeks ago. The loan closes on May 7.
Other park funding will come from the following sources: $80,000 from this year’s levy, $150,000 from the undesignated fund, $900,000 from the park fund, and $420,000 from the building fund.
Landscape Structures out of Delano will complete the playground portion of the park, and Vortex will create the splash pad. Custom Builders will complete the site improvements and buildings.
The six pickleball courts were an alternate bid item, but ultimately the council voted for their inclusion because they felt the new park should provide activities for all ages, and pickleball courts were the primary request of the city’s senior center leaders. While all ages can enjoy pickleball, the sport has become especially popular with active people in older age categories, as it is less strenuous than tennis.
2020 Street Reconstruction
Some roadways on the northeast and southwest part of town will get new pavement this season, where the entire pavement surface will be ground up and completely replaced. City administrator Steve Bot said the city will also complete a number of drainage and storm water improvements, including center line culvert replacement and ditch/drainage improvements to address many resident concerns and issues. Each address in the affected areas have been assessed a fee of $3,170 to help cover the cost of the project.