11/6/2013 8:57:00 AM County to seek bids for park extension
by Paul Martin
Goodhue County Board agreed at its November 5 meeting to invite proposals from those interested in using 26 acres of land that was added to the County Park in 2013.
The land lies between Hwy 19 and the Byllesby Dam, and doubles the size of the County Park. It formed part of the Goudy farm, and was part of a parcel bought by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to enable the building of a new trail and footbridge planned to open in 2014. When complete they will link Cannon Falls and the Cannon Valley Trail to the Dakota County Park as part of the Mill Towns Trail, which is planned to extend to Faribault at some future date.
Use must be Family-Friendly
Public Works Director Greg Isakson explained the draft "Request for Proposals." It sets out various possible uses, as listed by the Parks Board. They include access to trails and the river with boat launches, a gift shop, or canoe and bike rental; a sports complex or fitness trail; a space to host concerts, swap meets, or art shows; a campground for tents and RVs; or, more ambitiously, a pavilion or amphitheater. "These are just suggestions, but people are welcome to come up with their own plans. As we weigh up different proposals, we will award points for higher or lower suitability for the County Park." Isakson said. "But any use must be family-oriented and park-related."
The Board agreed to invite bids, and to publicize the opportunity as widely as possible. The County will host an informational meeting and work with any interested parties. There will be a deadline of January 31 to submit broad concepts, after which staff will work with serious applicants, who will be required to post a $5,000 bond. The bond would be forfeited if an applicant pulls out after the County has invested many hours in working with them on their bid.
Disband the Dam Committee
Commissioners embraced a welcome chance to disband a Committee that is no longer needed. The Lake Byllesby Advisory Committee has brought together Goodhue and Dakota County representatives to oversee the maintenance of the Lake Byllesby Dam. Now that Goodhue County has sold its interest in the Dam, it is no longer needed. Commissioner Rich Samuelson pointed out that, if there is an emergency with the dam, public safety will be in the hands of the County's Emergency Management Office.
Extra Internet Capacity
The Board agreed to buy use of a new high-speed fiber internet link between Red Wing and Hastings. IT Director Randy Johnson said "Our main current internet pathway goes through Winona. Although breaks in the link are rare, we have suffered three this year. When that happens, it causes major problems. This link will give us a backup, and extra capacity. It will also help us share data with Dakota County." The Board agreed to accept Dakota County's offer of 20 years of use of the new cable for a one-time fee of $30,000.
Red Wing Plans
for New Bridge
Commissioner Ted Seifert reported on plans for a new bridge to replace the Eisenhower Bridge linking Red Wing with Wisconsin. "The new bridge is planned to go in next to the current one," he said. "The public is being asked, 'What sort of bridge design do you want to see?"' Concepts can be viewed by a link on the Red Wing City website at http://www.mndot.gov/d6/projects/redwing-bridge/meetings.html. Construction is planned for 2019 or 2020.