With every new year comes a new list of projects and tasks to accomplish, and the Parks Department is no different.
Perhaps the biggest task is the work on the Little Sioux River Trail, which will continue the trail over the Ocheyeden River and connect into the trail through the Thunder Bridge and on to Stolley Park.
This project will also serve as a collaboration with the city's River District Project, which will develop the riverfront property in front of Bon Bon and The Bear.
"The River District will become both a trail head and a resting area for trail participants," Park Manager Delray Bredehoeft said. "Obviously, it will have different events going on throughout the year, but there will be places to park for people to get out and walk the trail, or it will be a place for people to rest a bit on their way through."
"This is a project that's been in place for 10 years," Bredehoeft said. "We had to purchase the property, and we finally got the grants put in place for the trail and bridge."
He continued, "Whether it's finished this year is uncertain, but we'll at least have construction underway."
Another significant project the park department hopes to begin this year is the primary electrical rewiring at Pederson park. This project Bredehoeft estimates, will cost $30,000.
Other projects include replacing the outfield fence on field five in Pederson park, renovating the tennis courts in collaboration with Spencer Community Schools, replacing the lights in East Leach Park by the band shell and open shelter house, re-roofing the band shell and shelter house, and replacing some of the rope at the aquatic center.
Bredehoeft has replaced outfield fences at Pederson Park over the last several years, "putting up taller fencing for safety reasons."
"Last year we did field four," Bredehoeft said. "What we have left is the west field."
Work will likely begin on the tennis courts this summer, after school and the sport season have completed.
"We've been meeting with several companies to see what the best technique is," Bredehoeft said. "We've had some cracking, which is hard to avoid in the changes between Iowa seasons."
Bredehoeft predicts the Parks Department will choose a "PlexiPave" system, in which several coats of surfacing are applied, ending with the colored coat common on many tennis courts.
Lights and poles are also set to be replaced in Leach Park, around the band shell and open shelter house and up the trail to the enclosed shelter house.
"When we put the trail in, we brought lights over to the Miracle on Fourth Street playground," Bredehoeft said. "This is just a continuation of that."
The current lights are in "bad shape" and "need to be replaced," and the park department has $60,000 of Capitol Improvement funds budgeted for the project.
"We'll likely purchase the poles and lights and hire someone to install them," Bredehoft said. "We'll hopefully get them put in place in July, though the actual construction will ideally begin after the camping season."