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Eagle River City Council to Consider Downtown Pocket Park

Wikimedia Commons Royalbroil

After the Christmas display on the former Seyfert gas station lot on the corner of Wall and First street acquired by the city generated numerous compliments, the Eagle River City Council  decided to place the proposed sale on “pause” and to explore different public uses as a mini-park downtown.

The property was purchased using a $200,000 ten year loan with an additional $35,000 cost to clean up the former gas station. The council then adopted a position to offer the site for private development.

Alderman Jerry Burkett indicated he requested the council agenda include a discussion on the future of the site.

“I’ve been getting eight or nine compliments a week on how nice it looked during the Christmas season,” Burkett told the council. “Should the city keep the lot? Is it something the city should consider?  Should we keep the property?”  Burkett said there have been a couple of inquires on the possible purchase.

Alderman Ron Kressin reported the Eagle River Revitalization Board also discussed the site.

“At their board meeting they wondered if there were any plans for a different display,” Kressin said. “They felt it was a great idea for the city to keep that land.”

Council member Robin Ginner then focused the discussion of a “Pocket Park” on the site which was supported by city police chief Chris Dobbs.

“I always thought it should be kept as open space since once it’s gone you can’t get it back,” Chief Dobbs said, “keep it.”

Downtown business owner Katy Hayes supported having a small “green space” that could be utilized by any number of events and displays. She said the small mailbox for letters to Santa had up to 30 letters that Santa answered.

A general discussion on uses included an area for bands, bathrooms, and benches. The council thenadopted a motion 3-0 to place the sale on “pause” to explore other options. Burkett abstained.

Ideas on uses should be submitted to the council via Mayor Jeff Hyslop and/or clerk/treasurer Debbie Brown.

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