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Business & Economics

Eagle River community square task force reviews initial development plan

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Ken Anderson
Review of initial development of Eagle River's Community Square are reviewed by Jim Rosenberg (left) along Nancy Schuller (center) and Community Development director Karen Margelofsky.

An initial development plan for the community square was reviewed by the community square task force with reactions ranging from the proposed $600,000 cost to looking at development flexibility.

The plan submitted by Deleers in a 14-page report describes a building with bathrooms and a kitchen, picnic tables with sun screens, open grass areas, and paved walkway. The task force has already raised $225,000, but expressions of the need for flexibility, phased development, and to obtain proposals from other firms were discussed.

Member Jim Holperin said, “now that we have a concept maybe we wait until building costs come down, maybe just the building shell but include operating bathrooms, or just the landscaping.”

Community development director Karen Margelofsky favored obtaining other quotes before decisions are made, and Carol Hendricks felt there were another needs not fully explored.

“This is a tremendous gift to the community, but we have never decided who we want to serve in this in this square,” Hendricks said. “We have never sat down and looked at the people who will use it.”

Holperin felt that most folks would “use the space the same way and events could be developed,”

while Margelofsky felt about “25% of events would be community orientated.”

Most felt partial development needs to be done this year and they didn’t want to wait and see it empty for the next year of two. Bathrooms are a high priority and maybe the building can go up but only have operating bathrooms. Portable bathrooms may be possible seasonally.

There was agreement that a few picnic tables with sun screens could be up this summer on at least a portion of the lot, maybe a family bathroom, food truck, and get a landscape advisor for grass sod mats on a partial area.

The next meeting of the task force will be Thursday, March 10 at 12 noon at city hall.

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