MARSHALL – The trails at Independence Park are in serious need of replacement, City of Marshall staff said. But before the city makes a final plan to update the trails, it is also considering expanding a stormwater retention area at the south end of the park and getting rid of culverts that undermine part of the trail. .
The proposal would essentially add a fourth pond and a pedestrian walkway to the park.
“We wanted to move this concept forward and get feedback” City engineer Jason Anderson told council members. After discussion with the board, Anderson said he would request a quote for the engineering services and report back.
Anderson said the city’s engineering department and Marshall’s Community Services have spoken about updates to the asphalt trails that run through Independence Park.
“They’re in pretty bad shape, pretty much all over the park,” Anderson said. In addition, the slope of certain parts of the trail does not meet accessibility standards and, in one area, culverts weaken the trail.
Culverts connect the park’s three ponds to a stormwater retention area that is supposed to deposit silt before water flows into the ponds. However, it is “very small” for the drainage area it serves, Anderson said.
Anderson said there were a few possible avenues to update the park. The city could simply replace the trails and culverts. The other option would be to also enlarge the storm water retention basin and add a new footbridge crossing it. Anderson said there was an elevation drop of about two feet between the stormwater retention basin and the other three basins, so it might also be possible to install a small weir or waterfall.
It would cost around $ 772,000 to replace the trails in Independence Park with concrete and build the walkway, Anderson said. The enlarged stormwater pond and weir, with a recirculation pump, would cost approximately $ 267,000.
Anderson said the city had applied for a $ 250,000 MNR trail grant to help fund park updates, and that community services were also reaching out to potential community partners.
Some board members said they were in favor of the proposal, but they also had questions and suggestions. Council member John DeCramer asked if expanding the stormwater pond would help prevent the other three ponds from silting up. In 2016, the city had to excavate the bottom of the ponds to remove excess sediment.
“It would be a big goal” Anderson said. The larger area of storm water and the weir would slow the sediment down and keep it out of the other ponds.
Board member James Lozinski, the new trail design is expected to accommodate the use of heavy equipment at community events like Light Up the Night.
Council member Russ Labat said he had received suggestions from members of the public regarding the use of Independence Park as the site for a new aquatic center in the city. Perhaps the city should wait to take action on the trails, until discussions about updates at the Aquatic Center are over, he said.
Marshall City Administrator Sharon Hanson said public consultation sessions on the aquatic center are scheduled for early July.