While the measure passed, it did not pass unanimously: Commissioner James Less voted against it citing the need for a master plan to rehabilitate the whole park.
“I do have concerns on the cost of a fishing pier,” Less said. “Down there, it’s going to have to withstand the flooding river and second, we’ve already done some work down at the riverfront with work on the shoreline and putting the sidewalk in. When it comes to submitting for grants, it kinds of operates on a point system.”
Less said new amenities will add points to whether the city receives a grant and he doesn’t want to see the city checking off items on a list without having a plan for future development in place. Having a plan in place would make the city more attractive for grants in the future.
Commissioner Marla Pearson said this isn’t to start work on the fishing pier, but to create a design for the fishing pier.
“This is a very big park with a huge scope,” Pearson said. “I don’t think we’re jeopardizing any grants. I think what we need to do is start off with safety and I think putting in sidewalks is a good amenity to have at this point.”
Mayor Dan Aussem said the idea for the pier is to be accessible for those using wheelchairs who would like to fish.
Commissioner Wayne Eichelkraut said there’s already a fishing pier on the far east end of the park that’s been there for years, through floods and everything else so he isn’t concerned about a new pier standing up to a flood.
The agreement passed with the lone no vote coming from Less, although this agreement is for the creation of a plan rather than the construction of the pier itself.