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Lyon Co. Board hears Garvin Park proposal

County to apply for Legacy grant funding on $1.6M in park updates

Photo by Deb Gau A proposal for updates at Garvin Park includes a new main picnic shelter with features like garage-style doors, as seen in this concept photo shared during a presentation at Tuesday’s Lyon County Board meeting.

MARSHALL — Lyon County will be applying for grant funding for a proposed $1.6 million in updates to facilities at Garvin Park, ranging from picnic shelters to campsites and restrooms.

Lyon County Environmental Administrator Roger Schroeder went over concept sketches for the proposal during Tuesday’s meeting of the Lyon County Board. He said he was looking for the board’s approval to apply for Legacy grant funding for the project from the Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails Commission, before the application window closes July 30.

“I think it’s a worthwhile Legacy (project) to look at,” Schroeder said.

After discussing Schroeder’s presentation, county commissioners passed a resolution to apply for grant funding.

Schroeder said he has been working with Inside Outside Architecture, Inc., on plans for potential updates at the county park. The proposal included a new 28 by 48-foot main picnic shelter, with features like garage-style doors that could be rolled down in colder weather.

“Requests for weddings at the park seem to be increasing every year,” along with other parties and gatherings, Schroeder said. The updated picnic shelter would be an asset for the park, he said.

Another part of the proposal was a group of up to six camper cabins that would be built near the park’s former snow-making pond. The proposal also included restroom upgrades around the park and a “trailhead” shelter near the entrance of the park.

If Lyon County receives Legacy funding for the park project, construction could begin somewhere in 2023 through 2025, Schroeder said.

Schroeder said the proposed park project was estimated to have about $1.6 million in grant-eligible expenses. There would need to be a local match if Lyon County receives the grant, and the county’s share of the cost would be about $160,000.

The potential cost of the project did draw some questions from county commissioners. Commissioner Steve Ritter said factors like inflation would mean the county’s match might probably be closer to $200,000 by the time construction started.

Schroeder said that while the budget estimate for the project was close to final, there was still some uncertainty. Due to price surges in construction materials after the COVID-19 pandemic, “Pricing has been challenging,” he said.

Commissioners also had questions about some aspects of the proposed project, like the potential for flooding if cabins are built near the old pond site, as well as questions about where funding for the county match could come from. However, updating shelters and other features at Garvin Park would be something that would enhance the park and bring in income, Commissioner Paul Graupmann said.

Commissioners also noted that the county would first need to receive a Legacy grant before the project could become a reality. The board approved a resolution for Schroeder to apply for the grant.

“We might as well take a chance and get it done,” Ritter said.

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