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Donors contribute to Eagle River Community Square to keep space green

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Wikimedia Commons Royalbroil
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Spokespersons for the “Community Square” block in downtown Eagle River announced to the Eagle River city council it has received significant contributions to keeping it as a pocket park for public use which may cancel any private development proposals but to make the city whole for its costs.

According to Jim Holperin the Community Square task force has received a significant pledge contribution of $125,000 from former city council member Carol Hendricks along with a pledge of $50,000 from Eagle River Rotary and $25,000 from an anonymous donor.

“Rotary and its members want to be a partner with the city in development of the community square,” Holperin said. “Our intent is to develop the property; it is not our intent to take title. We always envisioned it be be city property and we envision making the city whole.”

The city purchased the former Seyfert gas station property for a reported $200,000 and spent an additional $38,000 in cleanup costs.

Former city administrator, now Rotarian Joe Laux, indicated nothing really jelled until the $125,000 pledge from Hendricks. “This was pushed forward to Rotary, and they gave a positive response with a $50,000 pledge. We expect the Eagle River Lions Club to want to be part of this.”

“This is an opportunity to bring more people downtown,” Laux said. Mayor Jeff Hyslop indicated he was “intrigued” but needed the numbers to be fleshed out on how this would work with Laux saying “we will piece it all together for you.”

Those attending the meeting gave a loud and long applause to Carol Hendricks who was present.

“Many times when I came at the end of the downtown there was this ugly gas station on that corner,” Hendricks said. “This will open up the downtown more.”

Preliminary design plans from Deleers include a building with a prep kitchen, bathrooms, utilities, a roof, portable stage, shade, plantings, and a place to just sit down.

Council member Ron Kressin volunteered to be the council representative on the planning committee.

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